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.

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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!

astrophotography

Camera Settings for Astrophotography: Northern Lights Photography, Milky Way Photography, Star Trails Photography

Astrophotography is one of the best ways to break the routine and reward yourself with novel experiences that inspire beautiful creations. It transports you to another world while you photograph the astronomical objects, celestial events, and areas of the night sky on your trip to new & exotic places.

From Moon Photography and Star Trails Photography to Milky Way Photography and Northern Lights Photography, Astrophotography helps you discover, capture and reveal the mysterious beauty of our universe.

astrophotography

Photo by Chris Slagle, landscape photographer and Grand Prize Winner of the 2020 AAA World Photo Contest. For more such amazing images, do check his Instagram profile here instagram.com/chrisslagle_/

How to photograph the Milky Way

Milky Way Photography is capturing the band of light formed from the stars seen in the clear, cloudless night sky (with no moon) of remote areas/countryside that has minimal light pollution.

Below is the recommended setting for Milky Way Photography:

Camera Settings – A Tripod is needed, use a wide angle lens i.e. focal length of 14 mm or the widest focal length available in your camera, Aperture: f/2.8, Shutter Speed: 30 sec, ISO 3200, set the focus to infinity (you will find the infinity symbol ∞ on your camera lens).

Pro tip: To avoid a blur image caused by the motion of the stars (due to earth’s rotation) and use of long exposure/slow shutter speed, go for the 500 rule/focal length.

For instance – in the above mentioned setting, 14mm is the focal length, so 500/14 = 35 sec, so shutter speed should be lower than 35 sec, so you can use 30 sec.

How to focus to infinity without indicator

If you don’t have the infinity symbol ∞ on your camera, then you can find the infinity focus and mark it on your camera. Here’s how:

  • Turn your AF (Autofocus) mode on
  • Go for Single Focus Point and select center focus point
  • During daytime, point your camera (preferably mounted on a tripod) with the Single Focus Point on the top of a pillar, lighthouse, tree, mountain or a tower that is set against the skyline (Keep the top of the pillar in the center of the frame)
  • The AF mode will try to find focus on the top of the pillar
  • Through the viewfinder/Live View Shoot Mode, when you see your subject/pillar appearing sharp, halfway press the shutter button to lock the focus (the focus has been set to infinity)
  • Now, quickly mark that point on the focus ring with a marker or a tape (you’ve marked your infinity focus)
  • Turn AF (Autofocus) mode to MF (Manual Focus) mode
  • When doing astrophotography, use MF (Manual Focus) mode, move your focus ring manually and stop at the marked infinity focus to capture a sharp image
focus to infinity
How to focus to infinity without indicator

Note: After I marked the infinity focus on my focus ring (Canon 1500D) – I found out that when I move my focus ring to the extreme left (hard stop of the camera’s focus ring which is the place at which the focus ring will turn no further) and then move it back by a centimeter to the right, there lies my infinity focus.

(Always try to get sharp images coz if your images aren’t sharp, even post-processing in Lightroom won’t help to correct/enhance your image)

milky way photography

Photo by Daniel Damschen, Product Designer and a Photographer. For more such amazing images, do check his Instagram profile here instagram.com/damschend/

How to photograph Star Trails

For Star Trails photography which is capturing the circular movement of stars in the night sky – choose a night with no moon, a dimly lit location, go for long exposure/slow shutter speed, use a foreground for better composition, wide angle lens & a tripod and set the focus to infinity.

Option 1: Use the Bulb Mode

Bulb mode is a shutter speed option for long exposures/very slow shutter speed that you can use only in Manual mode. For instance, if you want keep the shutter open for longer periods than 30 sec, go for Bulb Mode. In this mode, as long as you keep the shutter button pressed before taking the shot that much long will be the exposure.

Shutter speeds for a star trail, ranges from anywhere between 10 minutes to several hours.

Camera Settings: Use the widest Aperture: f/3.5 or less, Bulb Mode: 30 min exposure/shutter speed, ISO: 200. You will need a remote shutter release/cable release that allows you to lock the shutter button for long exposures like 30 min without having to keep the shutter button pressed with your finger for longer periods.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to use a very long exposure/slow shutter speed, you can increase the ISO.

Option 2: Use the Intervalometer

Instead of Bulb mode, you can use an intervalometer which is an advanced remote shutter release that automatically triggers the shutter at timed intervals.

How to use Intervalometer/Recommended Setting

Set the Shutter Speed to 30 secs and set the intervalometer to take 100 shots continuously at an interval of 1 sec to avoid breaks between trails. Seasoned Photographers take many pictures using intervalometer and combine them during post processing to create the final star trail image.

How to photograph the Northern Lights

northern lights

Photo by Chris O’Donnell, an Engineer and a Photographer. For more such amazing images, do check his Instagram profile here instagram.com/christophurous/

Known by various names – northern lights, polar lights and aurora borealis, it is a natural light display in the dark skies of high-latitude regions. You can take pictures of this spectacular ballet of light with a colour palette of green, violet, blue, and pink in places closer to the Arctic Circle – Iceland, Norway, Alaska, Greenland, Sweden, Finland and Canada.

For photographing Northern Lights – you need a place where the sky is dark, clear with no clouds. If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, mid-October through March (winter months) is the best time which increases your chances of seeing the northern lights due to extended hours of night time and clear cloudless night skies. You can check with the locals or check the aurora forecast apps/websites for predicted aurora activity.

For your Iceland winter trip, you will need layered clothing – thermal wear, wind and waterproof jackets with a hoodie, winter boots, woollen socks & gloves, a thermos for keeping hot tea/beverages. Remember to carry spare camera batteries (batteries die fast in cold climate), a rain cover for your camera and a flashlight.

Camera Settings:

Use a tripod, wide angle lens and set the focus to infinity. To avoid camera shake/blur images, use a remote shutter release or self-timer mode. Use Aperture: f/2.8 or the lowest f-number you can get on your camera, Shutter Speed: 20 sec, ISO 1600. Experiment with the settings – if the image has come out too bright, then lower the ISO or increase the shutter speed. On the other hand, if your image has come out too dark, increase your ISO or use a slower shutter speed.

Bonus: Night photography tips

Light trail photography settings

While photographing the street at night, the scene would look very dark. So, your DSLR camera’s light meter will brighten up the exposure to maintain 18% gray and result in a washed-out image. You will have to dial down Exposure Compensation (EC) to -3, -4 or -5 to make the photograph resemble the natural night scene. You can also use the self-timer mode to avoid camera shake/blur image.

light trail photography

Aperture: f/11, ISO: least ISO (Lo1), Shutter Speed: 25 secs, EC: -5

Fireworks photography settings

Aperture (mid-small) f/8 to f/16, ISO 100, Bulb Mode: keep the shutter button pressed until the firework sequence ends & then release the button. (Use a tripod and remote shutter release to avoid camera shake/blur image)

Alternatively, you can experiment with ISO settings from 400 to1600 using a wide aperture and fast shutter speed.

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 Astrophotography with the help of practical examples.

northern lights

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

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

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