Monday, September 12, 2011

Light Painting - Photography Tips

Light painitng is simply a photographic technique that uses a long exposure at night (or in a dark room), and which a light source is moved to "paint" a scene.  The light source itself will generally not be visble in the end result, nor will the artist.  Of course, the light could be coming from inside the frame or outside the frame.

There a some great photographers out there who have some amazing light painting lesons you can purchase (like from Evan Sharboneau).  I highly recommend his course.  As a starter though, here are some basic photography tips on light painting that you can start with.

Stability - since you will be working in low lighting conditions, you will need to have ensure has zero shake.  A tripod of some sort is a must!

Bulb Mode/Remote Shutter Release - I find that you will want to have the shutter opened and stay that way until you are done "painting" your scene.  Most DSLRs will have a bulb mode you can use.  Since they are built in, they can be handy.  However, they can produce tiny amounts of shake when you press the shutter open and closed, which is why I recommend a remote shutter release if you have one.

Manual Mode - you will want full control on the scene, so put the camera in manual mode (which is normally needed for bulb mode anyway).  You will need to do some trial and error with the aperture size based on your lighing conditions and how long you want to have the shutter open.

Light Source - light graffiti requires your "paint brush".  It could be a small, bright flashlight in which you would jump around the scene with or a laser pointer where you draw by projecting.  Note I've read that a laser pointer to the sensor can damage your camera, so be careful.  It can also damage a persons eyes, so never point it at someone.

Photography Special Effects
Trial and Error - with these basics of light painting, you can go nuts and create amazing effects (like Evan did above).


Visit our site for more photography tips.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Beginners Guide To Wedding Photography

You bought your first DSLR camera and you’re ready to roll at your best friend’s wedding! The first thing you need to do is to make sure you, and your friend, understand what you are getting into. Not only that, but make sure expectations are very low. That way, if something goes wrong there will not be hurt feelings. Here are a few photography tips to help you get started with wedding photography:

Under Promise, Over Deliver


Make it a habit to always under promise and try to over deliver. If your photos do not turn out as good as they could have, you will still hopefully have a friend. If they are expecting snapshot images they won't be disappointed with the results but they will be grateful and impressed with any photos above the average level.

Create A ‘Shot List’


One of the most important things in wedding photography is to have the couple decide upon a list of photos that they’d want you to capture on the big day and make a list so that you can check them off. This is especially good in the family shots, where the couple wants to photograph with everybody and not be disappointed that you didn’t photograph them with grandma!


Practice With Lighting And Exposures


It may be really frustrating making excuses for terrible exposure in your wedding shots. It doesn’t sound right to just say that the church was too dark or blame it on the flash. The best thing to do before the wedding is to scout the location, take a lot of test shots and experiment with different angles, lights and exposures. Then write down your notes, so you know exactly which settings to use on the wedding day.



There is no such thing as the best camera, really. Pick one that you are totally comfortable with. It’s pointless to get the latest model and be intimidated by all the new stuff you need to learn. Choose one that you feel competent with and know all its settings and features and most importantly, know when and how to use them. Basically, any DSLR camera will do a good job on a wedding, if combined with a high quality fast lens.


Here is a breakdown of the main equipment you’ll need in wedding photography:


Lenses – A great asset for any wedding photographer, be it professional or amateur, is a lens with a large maximum aperture of f/2.8 or larger. You will need it to capture all the available ambient light, even in dark churches or dimly lit rooms. Another important thing is the option to shoot without a flash, as very few people would actually consider the flash burst as being romantic. Your prime lens kit should include a wide-angle zoom, a wide-to-telephoto zoom and an image-stabilized telephoto zoom.


Flashes and accessories – If there is not enough ambient light, you might find yourself with a bunch of underexposed images. A flash solves the problem and is a must-have tool for evenings as well as indoor shots where the lighting is just not enough. Also, make sure to include a diffuser to avoid harsh shadows and instead give your photos a soft and warm look.


Tripod – Invest in a stable tripod, as the last thing you want during the wedding is to make sure your tripod does not topple over. Also, a tripod is a must have for group shots, especially if your lens come without image stabilization.


Memory cards – This is one of the most important items to include in your equipment. Choose Secure Digital and Compact Flash cards that are high quality and have a good speed, which allow you to store the images at outstanding quality and never get lost. Stay away from cheap cards that may ruin your entire work and performance. Next, you’ll need battery packs and a bag to hold it all.

Change perspectives  


Changing your perspectives and shooting at different angles allows you to get out of the comfort zone and showcase your creativity. While most images in the album will probably be pretty normal poses, it’s always fun to mix things up a little by shooting from down low, up high, at wide angles etc.

Continuous Shooting Mode


Being able to take a lot of pictures fast is extremely helpful during a wedding. Switch your camera to Continuous shooting mode and use it. Often times it’s the picture you take a second after the posed one – when everyone is relaxing – that really captures the moment!

Have Fun!


Weddings are about celebrating so they should be fun. The more fun you have as the photographer the more relaxed those you are photographing will be.


Looking to get a more serious level of wedding photography education?  Then check out <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536870145 1107305727 0 0 415 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:EN-CA; mso-fareast-language:EN-CA;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;} @page WordSection1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:36.0pt; mso-footer-margin:36.0pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} --> Digital Wedding Secrets and get their Wedding Photography 101 book for FREE!


The blog is brougt to you buy