Hitlik https://hitlik.com I believe in book shop Wed, 02 Oct 2019 11:48:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.11 7 Tips and Tricks for Photographing Landscapes With a Wide-Angle Lens https://hitlik.com/7-tips-and-tricks-for-photographing-landscapes-with-a-wide-angle-lens/ https://hitlik.com/7-tips-and-tricks-for-photographing-landscapes-with-a-wide-angle-lens/#respond Fri, 09 Jun 2017 05:18:20 +0000 https://www.vps20host1.com/?p=521 By and large, the landscape images you see in magazines and online are taken with a wide-angle lens. It’s the go-to focal length for landscapes for a variety of reasons, not the least of which that the angle of view allows you to capture more of the scene before you. For that reason, a wide-angle lens is a crucial part of a landscape photography kit.

Where a normal focal length lens (50mm on a full frame camera or 35mm on a crop sensor) captures a landscape much like we see it with our own eyes, a wide-angle lens creates an image with a wider angle of view. From sweeping vistas to close-up shots of individual landscape elements, wide-angle lenses (which is generally anything wider than the lenses listed above) produce results that are pleasing to the eye.

Let’s explore a few tips and tricks that will help you get the most compelling shots with your wide-angle lens.

Highlight the Broad View

Going with a wide-angle lens means you can capture more of the landscape before you in a single frame. That’s advantageous for a couple of reasons. First, wide-angle lenses allow you to show off the grand scale of a landscape. If vastness of space is an important aspect of the scene, a wide-angle lens will help you capture that.

Second, a wide-angle lens gives you an opportunity to highlight a single, strong subject by placing it in a position of importance in the frame while simultaneously allowing you to show the relationship of that subject with the larger landscape. That, in turn, assists you in telling a stronger story about the subject and its place in the immediate environment.

This trick in action: Using a wide-angle lens allowed the photographer of the image above to highlight the tree in the foreground while still giving us a view of the surrounding landscape. Without a wide-angle lens, getting so close to that three would obscure the surrounding environment. What’s more, by going wide-angle, we get a better feel for how distant the mountains are in the background. In that regard, the wide-angle lens helps tell a more compelling story about how desolate the landscape is and how isolated the tree is within that space.

Play Up the Foreground

One of the best assets of a wide-angle lens is that you can get up close to an element of foreground interest in order to make it more important in the scene. That is, a wide-angle lens alters the perceived size of elements in the frame – elements that are closer seem larger than they are while elements in the background seem smaller.

This trick in action: Perhaps the best way to take advantage of this feature of a wide-angle lens is to use a low shooting angle to place a foreground element on full display. Using the image above as an example, note how the lower-than-normal shooting angle helps bring the foreground boulders into full view. Note as well how their size is emphasized in the frame, while the mountains in the background seem much smaller.

And, because wide-angle lenses offer a greater depth of field, you can get even closer to foreground elements and still manage to have a decent depth of sharpness in the photo. Try getting a foot or even closer to a foreground element and see how much of the scene you can still get in focus.

Go Vertical

When using a wide-angle lens, it’s most common to shoot in horizontal format. However, don’t be afraid to tilt your camera on its side and take some vertical format wide-angle shots as well. Doing so gives you the power to put the height of a landscape element, like a tree, mountain or waterfall, on full display because you can capture its entire length in the shot, even from relatively close up. What’s more, a vertical wide-angle shot gives you a unique result in which the viewer can see the scene from the extreme foreground to very high in the sky.

This trick in action: In the image above, note how the vertical format offers a pleasing view of the landscape. We’re afforded a view of the rocks in the immediate foreground, which adds some texture and shape to the image. But we’re also given a full view of the sky extending above the mountain peaks in the background. Note as well how there are no lines in the shot to be distorted. That’s an important consideration if you want to create a more life-like image (more on distortion below).

Beware of Too Many Elements

Though the broad angle of view a wide-angle lens provides is often a blessing, it can also be a curse. By incorporating so much of the landscape into a single image, it’s easy to get too much visual interest, leading to a photo that seems chaotic and distracting. In other words, just because you have the ability to photograph everything in the scene doesn’t mean that you should.

In fact, using a wide-angle lens requires you to pay greater attention to the objects in the landscape that provide the most visual interest. Everything in the shot should be there for a reason – to add texture or color, to help frame the primary subject, or to help you tell a better story about the landscape. Check your composition for any distractions – elements in the foreground or background that take interest away from the primary subject – and work to frame them out of the shot as best you can.

This trick in action: Look at the image above and notice how there are branches sticking up in the bottom left corner. These branches are in the frame because of the wide-angle view, and they are precisely the type of thing you must be vigilant of when composing your shots. Had the photographer noticed the branches, they could have taken a few steps forward, excluded them from the shot, and it would be easier for the viewer to focus on the subject – the gorgeous waterfall. In short, seek to simplify your compositions and they will be much stronger.

Show Off the Sky

If you happen upon a landscape scene that’s got a dramatic sky, a wide-angle lens is an ideal choice. Just like a wide-angle helps you convey the space of a landscape, it helps indicate the volume of space too. And, because of the wide-angle of view means you can incorporate the landscape and the sky, it gives you opportunities to create a single image with a dramatic foreground and a dramatic sky at the same time.

This trick in action: In the image of the iceberg above, you can see how the foreground and background work together to create a more dynamic composition. The glistening ice is on full display, but with the backdrop of the dramatic sky behind it, the image becomes far more compelling. Notice as well how the photographer sought to include only what was important – they are close enough to the ice to frame out any other foreground elements, but the wide-angle view still gives us clues as to the relationship between each element in the shot.

Watch Your Angles

Because wide-angle lenses often create distortion around the edges of the frame, straight lines can appear to converge inward. Though this can be used as an artistic tool, keeping the camera level with the horizon will help minimize these distortions.

This trick in action: In the image above, note how the tree trunks all appear to be straight. This is because the camera was kept level to the ground. The resulting image looks normal, as though we are viewing it with our own eyes. This can make a landscape image seem more familiar and help the viewer connect with it on a deeper level.

Then again, angling the camera upwards will distort straight lines, as seen in the image above. Compared to the previous image, you can see just how much the straight lines of the trees converge as they extend toward the top of the frame.

This trick in action: Note as well that angling the camera upwards allows you to frame the foreground out of the shot. This might be advantageous if the foreground is distracting or if there are elements that just don’t fit the scene. If there is a compelling sky, angling the camera upwards can also be advantageous.

Get In Tight Spaces

Some landscapes aren’t wide open vistas, but are instead tiny spaces by comparison that pose a significant challenge to photographers. In these situations, a wide-angle lens is an ideal choice because, again, the wider angle of view allows you to capture more of the scene, even though you’re in tight quarters.

This trick in action: In the image of Antelope Canyon, you can see how the wide-angle lens is beneficial. Both sides of the canyon are in full view, giving us insight into the textures of the canyon walls. It also gives us an indication of just how narrow the canyon actually is, while also allowing the photographer to incorporate some of the sky to indicate how deep the canyon is as well.

With that, you’ve got seven solid tips that will help you make the most out of your wide-angle lens. Next time you venture out to photograph a landscape, test one or two of these tricks to see how they can improve your images. Keep practicing each one, and with time, they will become second nature.

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How to Photograph the 2017 Solar Eclipse: Gear List https://hitlik.com/how-to-photograph-the-2017-solar-eclipse-gear-list/ https://hitlik.com/how-to-photograph-the-2017-solar-eclipse-gear-list/#respond Fri, 09 Jun 2017 04:53:21 +0000 https://www.vps20host1.com/?p=506 Mark you calendars for August 21, 2017, if you haven’t already!

That’s the day that a huge tract of North America will get to enjoy the first total solar eclipse in decades (and for decades to come, too).

People have been planning their journeys to cities in the path of the eclipse for some time now.

And a lot of those folks are more than just fans of seeing something rare…

They want to document the occasion with their camera, too.

If you’re one such person but aren’t sure how to photograph the 2017 solar eclipse, I’ve got a few tips for you.

First Steps

Naturally, planning is going to be an essential component of your solar eclipse photography.

If you haven’t already, determining where you’ll go to view and photograph the eclipse should be the first task.

Determining how you’ll get there and when you’ll get there is the second task.

You’ll also need to scout locations well in advance. You want an unobstructed view of the sky so you can capture the sun without any distractions.

The key is to arrive early – and I don’t mean 30 minutes before the eclipse.

In fact, you should be at your shoot location hours in advance, if for no other reason than to stake out a spot to set up your gear amongst all the other eclipse watchers.

Once there, you’ll need to set up your gear. You want to be sure to have plenty of time to do so, too.

The question is, what gear do you need?

Gear List

Aside from eclipse glasses to protect your eyes, you’ll need a host of photography gear to make taking photos of the event a possibility.

Camera

The idea that you need a big, expensive, professional camera to get nice photos of the 2017 eclipse is a total misnomer.

In fact, depending on how you want to photograph the eclipse and what you want to do with your images, you can use just about any camera.

With that in mind, if you have a consumer-level DSLR like a Canon EOS Rebel T6i, use it. If you have a Sony A7R, use that. Even your smartphone can get the job done, though the quality of the image will not be the same.

Lens

How the eclipse is rendered in the frame will depend in large part on the focal length of the lens you use.

If you use a wide-angle lens, the sun will appear quite small. Conversely, a telephoto lens will allow you to fill the frame with the sun.

The question is, what focal length do you need?

As a rule of thumb, to get a reasonably large rendition of the sun in the frame, you’ll need at least 300mm of focal length.

Lenses of that length are quite spendy, though…

A good option is to rent a lens for the eclipse, that way you don’t drop a couple of thousand dollars on a lens you might or might not use again.

Outfits like Borrow Lenses or Lens Rentals have good selections of lenses for reasonable prices. Just don’t wait too much longer to reserve your lens, otherwise you might find they’re all rented out!

Solar Filter

Protecting your lens (or your rented lens) and your camera from the intense rays of the sun is imperative.

To do so, you need a high-quality solar filter that will protect your gear without impacting your ability to get crisp, sharp photos of the event.

The Firecrest Eclipse Filters from Formatt-Hitech fit the bill beautifully, with coating and bonding technologies that maintain gorgeously neutral color rendition.

These filters are available from 18 stops to 24 stops as well, meaning you have all the light-stopping power you need.

What’s more, the Firecrest Eclipse Filters are designed to ensure accurate density, which means color transmission and sharpness are unaffected. They even have a built-in infrared cut and will also work as a great filter for long exposures.

In other words, with a Firecrest Eclipse Filter, you get the protection you need for your gear while enhancing the look and feel of the images you take. They’re available in various sizes from 37mm to 95mm to accommodate a wide range of lenses as well.

That’s not a bad deal if you ask me!

Tripod

One of the most essential pieces of gear for photographing a total eclipse is a good, solid tripod, like the Sirui N-3204X shown above.

A tripod gives you camera the steady base it needs to get high-quality images (or videos) of the event.

Think about it – the eclipse will last a couple of minutes in the prime viewing areas, and you don’t want to handhold your camera for that long.

Besides, handholding your camera will most definitely result in camera shake, rendering your images a blurry mess.

In other words, approach photographing the 2017 eclipse like you would night photography. After all, for a couple of minutes, it’ll be dark as night anyway!

Camera Remote

Another handy tool you’ll most definitely want is a camera remote.

Like a tripod, a camera remote gives you the ability to step away from your camera to avoid camera shake.

But you certainly want the ability to trigger the shutter, and a camera remote does that.

Why stop at firing the shutter, though, when you can get a remote that does so much more?

How about creating a timelapse video of the eclipse? Or a real-time video? Maybe a long exposure?

Pulse by Alpine Labs is a camera remote that can do all those things – and more.

Check and adjust camera settings, look at the histogram, and get image previews all on your smartphone.

Heck, you can control your camera via Bluetooth from up to 100 feet away, too.

That means you can set up your rig, find a place to sit down, and relax and enjoy the show while Pulse handles documenting the event!

Other Essentials

With the major gear out of the way, let’s not forget all the other essentials you’ll need for your solar eclipse photography:

  • Extra batteries
  • Extra memory cards
  • Gaffers tape (to seal off light leaks and just about anything else)
  • Smartphone apps to determine the precise time the eclipse will occur in your location
  • A good camera bag to carry your gear

And that’s not to mention all the stuff you need, too, like water, snacks, a comfy camp chair, and other creature comforts to make the 2017 eclipse a fun one.

Just remember, aside from all the gear you need, the planning stages of photographing the eclipse are even more important.

As I noted earlier, start planning your outing now, visit the shoot location ahead of time, figure out how you want to compose the shot, and practice taking the shot, too.

All that practice, time, and effort will pay off!

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Photoshop Tricks You Don’t Want to Miss https://hitlik.com/photoshop-tricks-you-dont-want-to-miss/ https://hitlik.com/photoshop-tricks-you-dont-want-to-miss/#respond Fri, 09 Jun 2017 04:40:59 +0000 https://www.vps20host1.com/?p=496 For me, one of the difficulties I faced when I started in photography was simply trying to figure out what I could do in Photoshop.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s a great program and I think it’s been well developed and organized to maximize its potential.

But there’s a lot you can do in Photoshop – a lot – and that can get a little overwhelming.

Something that really helped me step up my post-processing is taking the time to learn a few shortcuts.

Not only do the shortcuts make easier work of doing the Photoshop tasks I want, but they also make it a faster process.

The folks over a PHLEARN put together a list of five essential Photoshop shortcuts in the video at the end of this article. Let’s explore each in detail.

Spacebar + CMD/CTRL + Click/Drag

I’m guessing that if you’ve spent some time in Photoshop that you know that if you press CMD/CTRL and the + or – symbol that you can zoom in and out on the image you’re editing.

But an advanced version of this trick is to use the spacebar + CMD/CTRL + clicking and dragging.

What this does is allow you to zoom in on a specific area rather than just zooming in on a random location that occurs with CMD/CTRL +.

With that pinpoint control, you can more easily zoom in and out on the area you actually want to edit, rather than having to zoom in and then using the hand tool to drag the image around until the area you want to edit is in the field of view.

CTRL + Option/ALT + Click/Drag

This handy shortcut allows you not only to change the size of the brush you’re using but the hardness of the brush as well.

Though there are plenty of ways to do this, many of them are laborious or not as effective.

For example, you can right click on the image to change the brush size, but you can’t really see the change in the size of the brush until you exit out of the brush size window.

A faster way is to use CMD/CTRL + [ or ] to adjust brush size. This allows you to make adjustments on the fly without having to access the brush menu.

But an even better way is to use CTRL + Option + Click/Drag on a Mac or CTRL + Alt + Right Click/Drag on a PC.

By dragging left or right using this shortcut, you can adjust the size of the brush. By dragging up and down, you can adjust hardness. Pretty simple, right?

V + 1-9

Have you ever wondered how you can quickly change the layer opacity?

One of Photoshop’s little secrets is that you can use V + 1-9 to automatically change the opacity to 10, 20, 30 percent, and so on.

Naturally, this requires just two keystrokes, so it’s a much faster (and precise) way of getting the opacity you want versus using the slider control in the layers panel.

Note a couple of things with this shortcut…

First, if you want a specific opacity, like 24 percent, just hit V + 24 in rapid succession.

Second, make sure you don’t have the brush tool active when you use this shortcut. Otherwise, it will change the opacity of the brush, not the layer.

Shift + Option/ALT + CMD/CTRL + M

Unlike the previous shortcuts outlined above, this shortcut doesn’t actually exist in Photoshop.

That means you have to create it, but once you do, you can much more easily create layer masks.

If it sounds scary to create your own shortcut, it’s not.

Simply go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts > Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All.

Then just hit the keys you want to use for the shortcut, in this case, Shift + Option/ALT + CMD/CTRL + M to create the shortcut, and then press Accept and OK.

From there, whenever you want to create a layer mask, you can do so with a shortcut!

Shift + Option/Alt + CMD/CTRL + S

In today’s day and age, it’s common to want to export the images you work on in Photoshop out to the web. This shortcut allows you to do just that.

Rather than going to File > Export > Save for Web & Devices, you can much more quickly access that same menu with this shortcut.

Doing so allows you select the file type and resize the image to save a smaller version of your image that is more easily viewed on the web.

With that, you have the inside track on five easy, yet impactful Photoshop shortcuts.

If you need a refresher or want to see them in action, have a look at the video below by PHLEARN.

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Head to Head: Lightroom vs Photoshop https://hitlik.com/head-to-head-lightroom-vs-photoshop/ https://hitlik.com/head-to-head-lightroom-vs-photoshop/#respond Fri, 09 Jun 2017 04:30:55 +0000 https://www.vps20host1.com/?p=489 What’s the difference between Lightroom and Photoshop?

That’s about as common a question as you’ll find in photography…

After all, both programs are made by Adobe, and both have many similar features.

But for the uninitiated, Lightroom and Photoshop have several very important distinctions that make them better suited to different tasks.

In this article, we explore those differences so you have a better understanding of how you should be using these powerful programs in your post-processing workflow.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Photoshop in a Nutshell

In the simplest of terms, Photoshop is best suited for the heavy lifting when it comes to editing your photos, as you can see in the video above from Photoshop Tutorials.

It’s got all sorts of powerful tools that help you manipulate your photos in just about any way imaginable, from simple tasks like cropping to intermediate tasks like adding adjustment layers to complex tasks like making selections, removing unwanted features, and other pixel-level work.

And that’s really the trademark of Photoshop – it allows you to drill down to the individual pixels in your photos for pinpoint manipulations.

That’s due in part to the fact that you work in layers in Photoshop. That means you can add all sorts of effects to an image, then turn them off or on as you see fit. You can even keep different edits of the same photo on different layers within one file, which makes it easy to see the difference from one edit to the next.

Lightroom in a Nutshell

Lightroom has a lot of the image editing features that the everyday photographer needs, but it lacks the sheer volume of tools and the power of Photoshop when it comes to making hefty edits to your photos.

That being said, Adobe designed Lightroom specifically with photographers in mind.

It’s not just a photo editor. Instead, Lightroom gives you the means to import your images, organize them, and edit them, making it a nice all-in-one management tool to keep track of your photos, as you can see in the video above from the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Channel.

In that regard, Lightroom is perhaps a bit more user-friendly than Photoshop, simply because you can do everything right within the program. That means that Lightroom has a much better workflow for photographers.

For instance, you can easily create collections of photos with keywords to keep track of images based on date, event, subject, and so forth.

What’s more, you can create Lightroom presets and save them, so if you have a certain kind of editing style, it’s just a simple matter of applying that preset to a newly imported photo. You can even sync your edits to multiple photos in one action. That makes Lightroom a good time-saver, especially if you have tons of photos that need organizing or editing.

Why Photoshop is Better

When evaluating Photoshop, there are a few ways that it simply outshines Lightroom:

  • Image blending – If you want to blend images, for example, to minimize noise, Photoshop is definitely the way to go.
  • Advanced editing – If your portrait model has a blemish on her face, you’ll need Photoshop to tackle that task.
  • Photo manipulation – If you want to cut grandma out of one photo and put her into another, Photoshop has the tools to do so.
  • Panoramic stitching – Splicing images together to create a panoramic photo is one of Photoshop’s strong suits.
  • Enormous toolbox – Simply put, Photoshop has an incredible collection of editing tools that help you address virtually any editing task you can imagine.

Why Lightroom is Better

Though Photoshop has its strengths, Lightroom does a few things even better:

  • Basic photo editing – If all you need to do is crop an image, reduce the noise, or do some sharpening, Lightroom handles those tasks well.
  • RAW editing – Lightroom has a built-in RAW file editor that’s more user-friendly than Adobe Camera Raw. Plus, you can make RAW edits as you import your photos.
  • Photo organization – As noted above, Lightroom gives you a powerful image management platform to help you organize your photos.
  • Ease of use – Lightroom is streamlined for a much simpler user experience.
  • Presets – As noted earlier, you can create presets in Lightroom to give a consistent look to your images. Better still, you can import presets that other photographers have made, giving you a virtually endless supply of looks for your photos.

The Downsides of Photoshop and Lightroom

The primary concern with Photoshop is that it has a very steep learning curve. This is simply because of the sheer number of tasks you can do within the program. Some professional photographers don’t even know how to use all of Photoshop’s bells and whistles, so you can imagine how difficult it can be for some novice and enthusiast photographers to master.

Photoshop doesn’t have any image management tools, either, so it isn’t nearly as adept at keeping things organized for you like Lightroom is.

On the other hand, being that Lightroom was designed specifically for photographers, you can only edit photos – there’s no vector or raster image creation. Additionally, unlike Photoshop, Lightroom doesn’t work in layers. Although you can stack effects to get the desired look, they aren’t on individual layers that you can manipulate on a layer-by-layer basis.

Get more details on what Photoshop and Lightroom can and can’t do by watching the video above by First Man Photography.

The Verdict

When all is said and done, your better bet will depend on your situation.

If you’re a beginner, start with Lightroom as it’s easier to learn and more user-friendly. It should also be your choice if you have tons of photos that need organization.

On the other hand, if you’re more of an enthusiast photographer that’s looking for an editing program to do all sorts of heavy lifting, Photoshop is the way to go.

Fortunately, since they’re both Adobe products, they integrate very well together (and are even sold together in one package). Use Lightroom to import, organize, and process your RAW files, then bring them into Photoshop for more serious editing.

Your decision really comes down to which program is best suited for you. Either way, you’ll have plenty of power to give your photos the polished look and feel you want.

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5 Alternatives to Your Vanilla Photography https://hitlik.com/5-alternatives-to-your-vanilla-photography/ https://hitlik.com/5-alternatives-to-your-vanilla-photography/#respond Fri, 09 Jun 2017 04:21:50 +0000 https://www.vps20host1.com/?p=479 I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get a little tired of doing the same old thing with my photos.

I mean, there’s a lot of beautiful scenery nearby that gives me all sorts of chances to take some pretty good landscape photos.

But occasionally, even the most beautiful sunset or gorgeous beach doesn’t trip my trigger, so to speak.

As in life, in photography, spicing things up now and again and trying new things is a great way to expand your horizons and reinvigorate your creativity.

The question is, what approaches can you take to explore different ways of creating a photo?

I’ve put together a list of five tried-and-true strategies that will allow you to give something new and different a try, and help you learn new photography skills at the same time.

Let’s take a look…

Selective Color

I know what you’re thinking…

Selective color is a total photography cliche, something that had its heyday ten years ago and then took its place among things to never do with your photos.

BUT, you have to admit that selective coloring is a unique way of creating an image, and one that takes a heck of a lot of time in post-processing.

Thinking about color and honing your post-processing skills aren’t bad things, either.

In fact, even if your selective color images never see the light of day, you can at least use the process as a way to develop your creative eye.

By using this process, when you survey a scene, you’ll end up taking the time to notice elements that might benefit from selective coloring. Taking your time is a good thing!

For example, in the image at the beginning of this section, the photographer hand-picked which rubber bands got the selective coloring. That means they had to determine which ones (and how many) would generate the most pleasing final image.

Note how in this case, the level of coloring is just right – it’s not so much that it’s overwhelming, but there’s also enough that gives the ball of rubber bands that extra bit of pop that draws in the eye.

Black and White

It’s classic photography at its best…

Black and white photography is the oldest type, yet it still makes a significant impact when done well.

The difficulty in creating a compelling black and white image like the one above is in “seeing in black and white.”

That means that for most of us who have color vision, we have to learn how to look for the things that make a black and white photo better.

That includes areas of highlight and shadow, textures, patterns, and shapes.

Note how the flower in the image above embodies all of these elements: some of its petals are beautifully illuminated while others are cast in shadow, giving the image the dynamic range it needs to capture the interest of the eye. What’s more, the texture and shape of the petals give the eye something compelling to inspect in the absence of color. The pattern the petals create is yet another layer of visual interest to delight the eye.

The same concepts hold true for landscapes, cityscapes, and portraits – use light, shadow, texture, patterns, and shapes to help you create a more compelling photo

In the portrait above, notice how the sidelighting gives the image the areas of highlight and shadow that are needed to indicate depth.

What’s more, think about this: if this image were in color, it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting to view. The plain background would present as a solid wall of color, and with a relatively non-descript look on his face, the model wouldn’t exactly be all that eye-catching either.

However, by manipulating the light, you get interesting shadows and highlights, which in turn create eye-catching shapes for our eyes to inspect.

HDR

Not all that long ago, creating an HDR (high dynamic range) image required post-processing magic.

Nowadays, all you need is a smartphone, and you’ve probably got an HDR setting right there at your fingertips.

The nice thing about HDR is that it allows you to overcome a range of shadows to highlights that’s too much for your camera to handle.

That is, if your camera encounters a scene with a lot of highlights and shadows, a typical image might be exposed for the highlights, making the shadow areas underexposed, or exposed for the shadows, making the highlighted areas overexposed.

HDR addresses that issue because it combines several images into one, each of which is exposed for a different part of the scene’s dynamic range.

In the image above, the HDR process took one image that was exposed for the dark areas, like the face of the bridge, one for the midtones, and one for the highlights of the sky, and combined them into one shot in which we get the best exposure for all three areas.

So, essentially, HDR tries to replicate what our eyes do automatically and create an image that has shadows, midtones, and highlights, all of which are well-exposed.

If you use your phone, all that is done for you automatically – you don’t have to combine or process the images.

However, if you shoot with a DSLR or mirrorless camera, you’ll have to combine the photos in post-processing.

Check out the video above by PHLEARN to get an in-depth look at how to create an HDR photo in Lightroom.

Time-Lapse Photography

Something that the first three types of photos have in common is that they are all relatively straightforward.

When it comes to time-lapse photography, though, many people think that it’s simply too hard or requires too much expensive gear to get good results.

That’s just not the case!

What makes time-lapse photography such an interesting type of photography to undertake is that you can compress hours and hours of time into just a handful of seconds, giving you the ability to show the movement of clouds, water, or other movement.

That’s a unique way to approach photography that’s sure to grab the attention of viewers, like the video above by Keith Liew.

What’s more, time-lapse photography has never been so simple and affordable.

One of the best ways to capture stunning time-lapse videos (and real-time videos and panoramas too!) is the Syrp Genie Mini.

That’s a unique way to approach photography that’s sure to grab the attention of viewers, like the video above by Keith Liew.

What’s more, time-lapse photography has never been so simple and affordable.

One of the best ways to capture stunning time-lapse videos (and real-time videos and panoramas too!) is the Syrp Genie Mini.

This little hockey-puck shaped device gives you smooth panning motion control that you can adjust right from your smartphone.

You literally just mount the Genie Mini to your tripod, mount your camera to the Genie Mini, connect the Mini and your camera, and you’re ready to go.

The accompanying smartphone app allows you to determine everything you need to get gorgeous time-lapses.

What’s more, the app comes loaded with time-lapse presets, so even if you’ve never taken a time-lapse in your life, you can make one easily with the Syrp Genie Mini.

You can also create HDR time-lapse videos, so you won’t have to worry about your camera struggling with the dynamic range as it takes the frames for your video. Talk about a great way to enhance your photos!

Plotagraph

If we’re talking about innovative ways to change your photos, I have to say, Plotagraph Pro is my favorite.

Here’s why…

First of all, Plotagraph Pro is a web-based platform that lets you take a single still image and add dynamic looping content to it.

As you can see in the image above, that little bit of motion goes a long way in terms of creating something that’s jaw-droppingly beautiful.

That means that you can create a stunning motion graphic that not only grabs the attention of viewers more so than a regular static image but is a unique way of portraying your creative vision as well.

See that image above? Now look at it below with the Plotagraph treatment…

Talk about a transformation!

Essentially, Plotagraphs capitalize on the way we interact with content these days, and the way we do that is with dynamic – not static – content.

But the other great thing about Plotagraph Pro is that it’s an online environment in which creativity is shared and inspiration gained.

If you join Plotagraph Pro, you have access to training from some of the world’s best artists and photographers, a platform for sharing your Plotagraphs, and more.

What’s more, Plotagraph Pro gives you tutorials, cloud storage for your Plotagraphs, and even portfolio space for sharing your creations.

It’s not an understatement to say that Plotagraphs are the new photographs. Just take a look at the video below to see Plotagraph in action, and I think you’ll agree – it’s the most innovative and interesting way to spice up your images!

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Make Photography Easier With These 4 Incredible Gadgets https://hitlik.com/make-photography-easier-with-these-4-incredible-gadgets/ https://hitlik.com/make-photography-easier-with-these-4-incredible-gadgets/#respond Thu, 08 Jun 2017 12:50:09 +0000 https://www.vps20host1.com/?p=469 If you ask me, we’re living in the golden age of photography.

I say that because of the sheer number of incredible photography gadgets that come out each year.

Sure, some gadgets are all show and no tell.

In other words, many of them are just flash-in-the-pan gizmos that don’t really offer much in the way of actually helping you improve your images.

But other photography gadgets are truly groundbreaking.

Let’s have a look at four of the most exciting photography accessories for 2017.

Arsenal

At the top of the “amazing photography gadget list” has to be Arsenal.

This little piece of hardware sits atop your camera quite innocently, but don’t let its small stature fool you.

This is one amazing piece of hardware for photographers of all skill levels…

Arsenal is the world’s first AI photography assistant.

That means that its sole purpose is to help you create the types of photos (and timelapses!) you dream about.

Arsenal is controlled via smartphone, so there’s no more hunching over to see the camera controls on the LCD.

Instead, with one touch of your smartphone screen, Arsenal will determine the best settings to take a photo – in any shooting conditions.

No matter if it’s bright or dark, inside or outside, a portrait or a landscape, or something in between, Arsenal will take care of the camera settings for you to get a pleasing image.

First, you don’t have to get flustered trying to remember how to manually adjust things like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Arsenal does it for you.

And second, because you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects of photography, you can focus more on the artistic aspects, like composition and framing.

Think of it like having a teammate to help you take better photos.

In a word, this thing is mind-blowing.

Using artificial intelligence, Arsenal searches thousands of images in its database to determine the baseline settings for your shot.

From there, it analyzes 18 essential photography settings to fine-tune the image.

Better still, Arsenal handles HDR, long exposure photography, and timelapse videos, too.

But hey, don’t just take my word for it. As of this writing, the Arsenal Kickstarter campaign has exceeded its goal by $540,000. Not bad, eh?

As we all know, photography is all about light, and Relio is a light unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

The tiny little box sitting atop the tripod in the image above offers studio-quality beam shape and color.

There are no artifacts, no unevenness of colors – just pure, beautiful light you can use for any array of photos.

Equally as impressive is that this thing is completely portable.

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4 Simple Mistakes You’re Making That Ruin Your Photos https://hitlik.com/4-simple-mistakes-youre-making-that-ruin-your-photos/ https://hitlik.com/4-simple-mistakes-youre-making-that-ruin-your-photos/#respond Thu, 08 Jun 2017 12:42:03 +0000 https://www.vps20host1.com/?p=461 Let’s face it…

When it comes to creating an incredible photograph, a lot can go wrong along the way.

There’s the creative aspects of photography to think about like composition.

But there’s also the technical aspects of photography that can trip you up – understanding exposure, for example, or knowing how to use your camera’s controls to get the best shot.

It’s a lot to take in, but sometimes the simplest of mistakes are the ones that most commonly cause your photos to be a little lacking.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at four mistakes – all of which are camera settings – that you can fix to get better photos.

Using the Wrong Focus Point

Many photographers – especially beginners – rely on the camera to get the shot in focus.

Though this can work in some situations, in others, the camera gets it completely wrong, focusing on something other than the subject.

You can guess what happens when the focal point is wrong – the subject isn’t in focus.

The fix: To ensure that your images are sharply in focus, you need to tackle selecting the focus point and ensuring it is on the subject yourself.

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find your images are in focus more often. This is a little easier said than done, though, because each camera system will vary regarding the process of selecting the autofocus point.

Consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions. Otherwise, learn more about autofocus points in the video above by AdoramaTV.

Using the Wrong Aperture

A related issue to having a subject that’s out of focus is using an aperture that’s simply far too large.

I know when I got my first prime lens (a 50mm f/1.8) I immediately shot every portrait at f/1.8.

The problem with doing that is that it minimizes the depth of field so much that if you’re photographing a couple or a family, you run the risk of one person being in focus and another not being in focus.

What’s more, you might find that parts of a person’s face are out of focus too.

For example, at f/1.8, even though you have the focus point over the person’s left eye, their right eye or their nose or ear might be out of focus due to the shallow depth of field.

The fix: Shoot at a smaller aperture.

You don’t have to go to f/22 either…

Try shooting at f/2.8 or f/4. That should give you enough depth to avoid the focus issues mentioned above while still giving you a large enough aperture for nice background bokeh.

Learn more about aperture and how it impacts depth of field in this guide. Also have a look at the video above by PhotoFonz.

Being Afraid of Boosting the ISO

For years, photography writers have railed against using a high ISO because the higher the ISO, the more digital noise (or grain) that appears in the photo.

This was due in part to the terrible ISO performance of older digital cameras. But that’s now changed.

Today’s cameras offer excellent ISO performance, even at levels that were once unheard of. Yet, photographers still fear boosting the ISO.

This is a mistake because there are situations in which you need to shoot handheld, and doing so means you need to use a shutter speed that’s fast enough to avoid motion blur.

One of the ways you do that is to boost the ISO value, thus making the camera’s sensor more sensitive to light.

The fix: Be bold and use a higher ISO.

In sunny conditions, you can shoot up to about ISO 400 without any issues. In the shade or at dusk, try pushing it to ISO 1600. At night, go to 3200 or 6400.

You’ll likely find that the presence of noise is much less than what you might expect. You might even find that the quality of the noise adds a pleasing dynamic to your images.

What you’ll certainly discover is that your images are sharper as a result of being willing to use a higher ISO. If you need a refresher on ISO, check out the video above by Kingston Technology.

Not Using Exposure Compensation

When tricky lighting situations arise, exposure compensation (indicated as a +/- on your camera) should be your go-to camera setting to correct any issues.

Yet, many beginning photographers don’t use this handy feature.

Basically, your camera’s light meter reads a scene and tries to make everything appear as neutral gray.

In a lot of situations, this works just fine.

However, when lighting is challenging, such as when there are a lot of bright or dark tones, the meter can be fooled into thinking that the scene is much brighter or much darker than it actually is.

For example, if you’re photographing a snowy landscape, all that white will trick the camera into thinking the scene is extremely bright. The result is that it will darken the image, making the snow look gray instead of white.

The fix: Use exposure compensation.

In a nutshell, exposure compensation allows you to quickly overexpose or underexpose your images. Think of it as veto power of what the camera wants to do.

For example, if you want to make an image brighter, just use positive exposure compensation to brighten the photo. To darken an image, dial in negative exposure compensation.

How much you can compensate the exposure depends on the camera. Some give you wide latitude while others are more restricted.

Learn how to use exposure compensation in the video above by Spyros Heniadis.

Wrapping It Up

So, that’s four simple mistakes you might be making that negatively impact your photos.

Give each of these tips a try, see how they change the quality of your images, and make them a part of your normal workflow when you take photos.

I think you’ll find that you won’t be making these mistakes ever again!

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3 Unique Ways to Make Money as a Photographer https://hitlik.com/3-unique-ways-to-make-money-as-a-photographer/ https://hitlik.com/3-unique-ways-to-make-money-as-a-photographer/#respond Thu, 08 Jun 2017 12:27:05 +0000 https://www.vps20host1.com/?p=442 If you’ve been a photographer for any amount of time, you know that there are ebbs and flows in the business.

This is true no matter what kind of photography you specialize in, but it’s especially so for portrait photographers and wedding photographers.

There are busy seasons for this type of photography – spring, summer, the holidays – with periods of downtime that can really impact your bottom line.

The question is, how can you even out those ebbs and flows and fill in that downtime without getting overloaded?

Here are three unique ways you can make money when your schedule is a little thin.

Enter Photography Competitions

I know that initially, entering photography competitions might not sound like a very lucrative approach to making money, but just hear me out…

There are all manner and sort of photography competitions, from small, local events to international competitions with prize money in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Sure, there’s more people vying for the prize money, which makes this far less of a guaranteed income as something like QikPix.

Nevertheless, if you’re out with your camera on a regular basis and find you have a weekend here and there to work on a competitive project, photography competitions can be a means of making a little money on the side.

Perhaps the best workflow is to use a bit of your downtime each day – say, 30 minutes or so – to search online for photo competitions.

Once you’ve identified a number of possibilities, read the entry requirements, send in your application, and get to work!

Even if you don’t win the top prize, taking part in photo competitions can still help you make more money.

But how?

You can use the experience of working on the competition projects to improve your portfolio and learn new skills.

That, in turn, means that you have more to offer prospective clients, which only increases your chances of booking people for your services.

It’s a win-win!

Focus on Getting Customers to Come Back Over and Over

When you think about it, photography is a business that is perfectly suited to repeat business…

There’s births and weddings, birthdays and anniversaries, graduation parties, holiday cards, school photos, kids’ sporting events, you name it!

In other words, the possibilities are endless for you to start working with a client when they get married and then continue working with them as their family grows.

Oddly though, some photographers don’t think of their work as a funnel like this.

Instead, they might focus solely on photographing weddings and engagements. And though there is nothing wrong with specializing like that, if you want to create a variety of possibilities for generating income, it might behoove you to think about extending your services to events across the lifespan.

One way to do this is to remind your clients each time they come in for a session that they’ll need to come back and see you in a few months’ time.

For example, if you take maternity portraits, be sure to give your clients a reminder to book their newborn session once the baby is born.

Then, once the newborn session is over, schedule your clients for a shoot at the 6-month mark and the 1-year mark.

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7 Facts You Need to Know about the Canon EOS 80D https://hitlik.com/7-facts-you-need-to-know-about-the-canon-eos-80d/ https://hitlik.com/7-facts-you-need-to-know-about-the-canon-eos-80d/#respond Thu, 08 Jun 2017 12:19:03 +0000 https://www.vps20host1.com/?p=432 Canon has a long and storied history of making highly capable DSLR cameras for all segments of the market.

That’s true for beginner cameras, professional rigs, and mid-range bodies like the Canon EOS 80D.

Released in February 2016, the EOS 80D succeeded the highly popular (and well-reviewed) EOS 70D.

In the last year-plus, the EOS 80D has gained a solid reputation as well, thanks to some holdovers from the 70D as well as some fancy new features that make it an even more capable camera for enthusiast photographers.

Let’s have a look at seven facts about this rig that make it such a good camera.

It’s Got a Sony-Fighting Sensor

Canon shooters have had a beef with the company for years now…

In the face of companies like Sony leading the charge in the area of sensor development, Canon owners wondered when they would start to see more sophisticated sensors.

The EOS 80D delivers on that front.

The 24-megapixel APS-C sensor has Dual Pixel AF technology, which means it not only take clearer, sharper, and more resolute photos than its predecessor, but it can also continuously focus during still capture and video capture as well.

Add to that the fact that this sensor can achieve a greater dynamic range than the upper-tier Canon EOS 7D Mark II, and you have the makings of an excellent sensor that’s worthy of bringing the fight to Sony.

It’s Fast

Under the hood, the EOS 80D sports Canon’s DIGIC 6 Image Processor. That means a couple of things.

First, the processor provides top-notch image quality, especially when paired with the excellent sensor discussed above.

In fact, the processor improves the camera’s low-light sensitivity, meaning you can take higher-resolution photos with less noise when you take photos in poor lighting.

Second, the DIGIC 6 processor means this camera is fast.

You can shoot longer in continuous mode without encountering buffering issues than in previous Canon camera models.

What’s more, the DIGIC 6 processor allows for improved video shooting with easier playback on mobile devices.

It’s Got a Capable Autofocus System

The EOS 80D’s predecessor, the EOS 70D, came with a 19-point autofocus system that has performed admirably over the years.

But with newer cameras having increasingly sophisticated autofocus systems, Canon needed to give their enthusiast-level camera more to work with.

The result is a 45-point hybrid autofocus system with all cross-type points in the EOS 80D

Granted, this system isn’t as expansive or as advanced as the 65-point autofocus system in Canon’s pro cameras (i.e. the 7D Mark II). But the EOS 80D’s autofocus system is nonetheless fast, accurate, and offers good performance for enthusiast photographers.

There’s Modern Functionalities

The EOS 80D is a fully modern camera with wireless technology built right in.

On the one hand, it has Wi-Fi and NFC that allow for quick sharing and transfer of images.

On the other hand, that connectivity means Canon could incorporate their Canon Camera Connect feature, which allows you to control your camera wirelessly via a smartphone app.

For example, you can change the focus, fire the shutter, and change exposure settings, all from your phone.

You can also shoot remotely, review your images, and save your photos right from your camera to your phone too.

Not only does that make shooting more convenient, but it makes shooting more productive.

Flickering Lights? No Problem

When shooting indoors, light flicker can cause issues in the presentation of color as well as exposure. This is especially noticeable when in continuous shooting mode in low-light situations.

However, the EOS 80D corrects for that problem with an anti-flicker shooting function.

Essentially, the camera compensates for irregular light sources by only taking shots when those light sources are at their peak volume.

That gives you more light to capture the shot, which, in turn, results in a photo that has better color rendition and exposure.

See this and other features in action in the video above from Canon.

The Screen is Excellent

Fixed, low-resolution LCDs are so last decade…

The EOS 80D sports a new 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen that has up to 270-degrees of vertical rotation and up to 175-degrees of horizontal rotation.

That means you can capture images from far more angles and perspectives than before, but without contorting your body into uncomfortable positions to do so.

What’s more, the screen is touch-enabled, so you can operate the camera much like you operate your smartphone – change settings with a single touch of your finger or use two-finger gestures to zoom in on an image or to swipe for the next image in the sequence.

And with 1.04 million dots of resolution, the display is clear and bright. Canon even thought to make it smudge-resistant, that way when you’re shooting in live view you’re more likely to see what you’re shooting rather than a bunch of smudges.

Final Thoughts

If you’re an enthusiast photographer and a Canon shooter on the lookout for a more capable camera, it’s hard not to consider the EOS 80D.

As a newer arrival to the Canon lineup, it has the modern functions and features that most shooters look for (albeit, without 4K video).

The sensor is excellent, as is the processor, and the two combined give you great performance for capturing stills and videos.

The autofocus system is much-improved as well, giving you a greater ability to capture moving subjects.

Add in modern features like Wi-Fi, NFC, in-camera timelapse capabilities, anti-flicker shooting, and an articulating touchscreen, and you have the makings of a very solid camera that will please even the most discerning mid-range shooters.

You can even find the EOS 80D bundled with all sorts of things like a lens, flash, memory cards, and other goodies, making it an even more excellent buy!

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Star Ashley Benson Talks Dressing for the Red Carpet and Designing the Perfect Shades https://hitlik.com/star-ashley-benson-talks-dressing-for-the-red-carpet-and-designing-the-perfect-shades/ https://hitlik.com/star-ashley-benson-talks-dressing-for-the-red-carpet-and-designing-the-perfect-shades/#respond Thu, 08 Jun 2017 12:12:04 +0000 https://www.vps20host1.com/?p=421 Though she was born and raised in beachy Orange County, Ashley Benson is a New Yorker at heart. “Even when I was in L.A. I dressed like I was in New York—which didn’t always work,” says Benson with a laugh during a trip to the Vogueoffice. The Pretty Little Liars star’s affinity for leather jackets and biker boots may separate her from her California counterparts, but it has resulted in a look that turns heads, whether she’s sitting front row at Marc Jacobs or attending the CFDAs in an embellished Kate Spade LBD.

Now, Benson is joining the list of celebrity style influencers who’ve ventured into fashion by launching a sunglasses line with Privé Revaux. At under 30 dollars per pair, the styles, available this week, are accessible to Benson’s legions of teenage followers without compromising on quality. “Personally, I don’t want to have to spend 600 dollars to get a great pair of sunglasses,” she says. “My fans who can’t always buy designer can now get these glasses and afford them, which was important to me. If we can have something that they love and I love, then that’s the perfect thing.”

With styles like mirrored aviators, retro cat-eyes, and cut-off lenses, the shades hit on current trends while falling in line with Benson’s love of minimalist fashion—and reliance on extras to add visual interest. “I’m very plain with how I dress—I’m always in Levi’s, a dark T-shirt, a big coat, or a leather jacket,” she explains. “I go more out there when it comes to accessories; it’s really about whatever I’m drawn to at the moment. I love small bags and pieces that are funky yet sophisticated.” Benson admits that she’s more likely to try wild color for her hair rather than her clothes: “I love going brunette, blonde, and every other thing, but pink was probably coolest.”

Though understated shades make up the bulk of her closet, Benson and her stylist Jamie Mizrahi have had fun moving beyond the basics. Whether stepping out at Cannes last month in a floral print Erdem ball gown or dazzling in a canary-color Sophie Theallet suit during the press days for Pretty Little Liars’s final season, Benson has lately proved herself willing to experiment. “Jamie always tries to push me to go outside my comfort zone,” Benson says. “I gravitate towards neutrals and black, but she always encourages me to do color, and I appreciate that.”

A fan of Givenchy, Calvin Klein, and Saint Laurent, Benson pays close attention to the runways, and her dalliance with design has left her ready for more. “I love fashion and I love being involved in things like this,” she says. “It’s been an incredible experience.”

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