Monday, 4 of May of 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

Another Friday brings us to the end of another fun week in the world of photography. This week has been filled with plenty of news and helpful tips, tricks, guides, and more for photographers from their friends and fellows across the Internet. Along with news and and announcements about new gear hitting shelves or old gear being re-purposed in new ways, we had plenty of stories covering all kinds of tricks to help everyone from wedding photographers to drone pilots in our Twitter feed this week.

However, if you’re not following us on Twitter, we’ll recap the highlights for you below!


That’s all for this week, folks! Have a great weekend and we’ll see you again next week!


Food Photography Tips

Food Photography Tips

With the surging popularity of mobile photography in recent years, words like “selfie” have entered the vernacular and more and more people are joining social networking sites like Instagram, sharing their photos on Flickr, Facebook, and Tumblr, and the lines between where it’s appropriate to take photos and where it is not are constantly getting blurred where not completely erased. One field where photography is definitely on the uptick is the realm of food photography. Once the domain of professionals and dominated by advertisers and prima donnas, food photography is quickly becoming something of an everyman art form. So, to help you with your food photography, we have a few tips for you to add to your photography “cookbook” of tricks!

1) Lighting is critical — Keep some cheap, small bouncers, diffusers, and shaders with you for food photography — especially if you’re relying on your mobile as your camera of choice. You can make a light bouncer using tin foil stretched over cardboard, diffusers can be made out of dryer sheets, and shaders can be made out of anything that can block light. Pro Tip: You can make colored gels using transparency sheets and coloring them colored permanent markers.

2) Vary the angle — Don’t take all of your photos from the same angle be it overhead, flat on, cock-eyed, tilted, twisted, or whatever. Mix it up and adjust the lighting accordingly! Pro Tip: Don’t always try to include every bit of the dish. Consider focusing on a particular portion of it or even just the edge of the plate.

3) Make use of additional materials — Use raw ingredients to thicken any stews, sauces, or soups and give them a textured appearance. Use oil to add a glisten to salads, vegetables, fruits, or other raw foods. Feel free to turn the plates or reposition the dishes but don’t touch the food on the plate unless you’re also the cook (or you’re a customer and doing this on your own meal). If you’re photographing food as a pro photographer, let the professional cook arrange the food on the plate — it’s his artistry you’re trying to capture, after all!

4) Adjust the depth of field as needed — Don’t be afraid to set the depth of focus a little shallower than normal, especially if you’re zooming in to focus on a well-bracketed subject. However, don’t go too shallow and remember that you will lose focus on details in the background by doing this.

5) Know how the photo will be used — If you have a good idea how the photo is going to be used in the end, composing it will be much easier. If you know you’re shooting for the cover of a cookbook, it’s easier to compose for that. However, if you’re uncertain, it’s better to take a wide variety of shots from different angles and styles in order to present yourself and your client with the best choices you can. If you’re shooting on your phone for your social streams, then just keep in mind that you’re doing this to have fun and that you may want to take the other diners’ feelings into consideration.

Food photography is fun and a field that many people are engaging in these days. With a few tips, it will be easy to improve and refine your food photography skills and catch some eyes!

— da Bird

Demonstration of food photography at the Photokina 2008 exhibition in Cologne, Germany by Elke Wetzig


Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

It’s been another fun and busy week in the world of photography. This week has been filled to bursting with events including Coachella, the crisis in the Mediterranean, announcements from Sigma, Sony, Tamron, and more, as well as some big news from Scott Kelby. Beyond that, photographers, photography business advisers, and many others have been offering plenty of helpful advice to new and pro photographers in everything from how to break into fields such as fashion or real estate photography or how to use social media for a photography business.

All of these stories and more were featured in our Twitter feed this week. However, if you’re not following us on Twitter, then we’ll recap the highlights for you below!


That’s all for this week, folks! Have a great weekend and we’ll see you again next week!

— da Bird


Photography Tips and Tricks: Photographing Flowers

Photography Tips and Tricks: Photographing Flowers

Spring is in the air and flowers are blooming all over the place. For many, that means allergies and hay fever but for photographers, it means the chance to capture nature in one of its most beautiful stages — the blooming and budding stage. Spring is the only time of year when this kind of photography is possible and it’s one of the most fascinating kinds of photography — right up there with sunrise photos and storm photography. However, while it’s easy enough to capture photos of flower fields and gardens, getting down and getting truly unique photos of flowers in their early stages requires a bit of skill and careful planning. Fortunately for you, we have some advice to help you out!

1) Use macro lenses — Use a macro lens to get a good, close-up view of flowers. A true macro lens produces an image recorded on the sensor at life-size or larger. However, be careful as great care has to be taken when focusing macro lenses since the depth of field is very limited when you’re so close to the subject.

2) Use a tripod — Getting a good close-up requires you to reduce camera shake as much as you can. Do this by using a tripod instead of trying to go handheld if you can.

3) Use a remote release — Again, in the interests of reducing camera shake, invest in a remote release to fire the shutter without risking the chance of jostling the camera by pressing the shutter button.

4) Change your camera settings — Though most digital cameras have a flower photography mode or setting, you may want to switch to manual and adjust your settings along these guidelines:

  • Go with the lowest ISO setting available, usually ISO 100 or 200
  • Shoot in RAW format so that the maximum amount of picture information is stored for you to work with later
  • Set White Balance to Daylight to enable easy batch editing later
  • Use single shot drive mode, rather than continuous
  • Use smaller apertures to maximize detail
  • Use wider apertures to emphasise a sharply focused subject against a blurred background

5) Pay attention to the weather and lighting — Bright, sunny days aren’t always the best for photography. Carry around homemade bouncers and diffusers to soften and control the lighting conditions where ever you’re shooting.

6) Gardening tools, mats, and spray bottles are your friends — Clothes pins, twine, and other common tools can help you with moving plants or parts of plants out of your shot without needing to dig up or cut plants. Since you’ll be kneeling a lot, a comfortable mat can keep your knees from getting too wrecked. Spray bottles filled with water can help you recreate that “fresh and dewy” look.

With spring here, it’s time for to capture photos of flowers. Following our tips, you can improve your floral photography and take your craft to the next level!

— da Bird


Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

It’s been another fun and busy week in the world of photography this past week with loads of announcements and news about new photography gear and updates to firmware rolling out from Pentax, Olympus, Canon, and Nikon. In addition to the latest and greatest cameras getting updates in everything from their software and settings to their lenses and accessories, there’s been plenty of action for photographers using these cameras to capture with another lunar eclipse happening this past week and floods striking in Chile. The cherry blossoms have been in bloom across much of the northern hemisphere as well — Japan has a big ceremony centered on them coming — and plenty of people are getting ready for Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and other spring events.

All of these stories and more were featured on our Twitter feed this week. However, if you’re not following us on Twitter, we’ll recap the highlights for you below!


That’s all for this week, folks! Have a great weekend and we’ll see you again next week!

— da Bird


Profiles in Photography: Kazuha Matsumoto

Profiles in Photography: Kazuha Matsumoto

This week our photography profile focuses on Japanese photographer Kazuha Matsumoto. Born in 1977, he became interested in photography and film at a very young age. He was fascinated by the still-life images he saw in advertisements and commercials and began trying to recreate them on his own. He developed his technique on his own, his work in the field being very much solo and his advancement all self-taught, and has come up with a very unique style. In 2004, Matsumoto went to work for Shu Akashi as a photography assistant and then later launched his own career as a commercial photographer.

His clients today include Albion, Cover Mark, L’Oreal, Seiko, Elle, GQ, Harper’s Bazzar, and Vogue. His style with photography and retouching blends an air of strength and luxury with simplicity and control in a manner that is balanced and aesthetically pleasing. His abstract work in particular stands out as an example of his ability to meld together contradictions into a harmony in his style. His work is definitely worth checking out and, if Matsumoto continues in the field, his talent and dedication could lead him to the highest levels possible.

— da Bird


Photography Techniques for Fun

Photography Techniques for Fun

Spring is a great time to try out some photographic experiments to see if there is a new technique you’d like to add to your repertoire for variety and fun. With the change in seasons, putting on a macro lens or making the most of your zoom function to get up close and personal with flowers, buds, and bees is high on most everyone’s list of things to try out. However, there are some additional things you might want to experiment with just to see how they turn out!

1) Time lapse photography — The weather is better and the flowers are going from bud to bloom which makes it a great time to try some time lapse photos. To pull these off, you’ll have to leave your camera in a fixed position for a while so as to not have a lot of image blur or camera shake in the photos. You’ll also want to manually set the frequency of the capture so that your time lapse is smooth and clean.

2) Astrophotography — In the northern hemisphere, the warmer weather also heralds several nice meteor storms and other astronomical events. This is a great time to try out your wings in astrophotography. If you managed to get a telescope back at Christmas, you can even get a mount so that you can capture the sights your scope shows up

3) Outdoor portraits — Again, with more sun and warmer temperatures, this is a great time of year to start practicing outdoor photography and portraits. Carry around a light bouncer made out of cardboard and tin foil in order to help control the lighting for your shoots.

4) Aerial photography — Drones are becoming more and more popular and they’re not too difficult to learn to fly so adding aerial photography to your bag of tricks can make things fun and interesting, giving you the chance to get a real “bird’s eye” perspective in your photography.

What are some other techniques you think you might like to give a try? Let us know in the comments below!

— Da Bird


Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

It’s been another fun and interesting week in the world of photography as photographers around the globe continue to capture the changing seasons, the flowers in bloom, and the preparations for Easter get under way. There have been a lot of articles out this week focusing on reviews and tests of new cameras and equipment as well as practical advice to wedding photographers who are going into their busy season.

All of these stories and more were featured on our Twitter feed this week. However, for those of you not following us on Twitter, we’ll recap the highlights for you below.


That’s all for this week, folks! Have a great weekend and we’ll see you again next week!

— da Bird


Profiles in Photography: Joel Rhodin

Profiles in Photography: Joel Rhodin

This week’s photography profile focuses on Joel Rhodin, an up-and-coming fashion photographer who is currently based out of Sweden. Rhodin got his start working with some of the most high-end fashion photographers in New York, giving him a chance to learn his trade and make contacts within the fashion industry while he assisted his more experienced bosses in capturing photos that graced the covers of many different fashion and popular magazines over his eight year stint.

Following that, he moved to Sweden where he began dialing in his own particular style of fashion photography. His work is constantly evolving but mixes crude, rough, and harsh with warm and beautiful in a very interesting and unique way. Most notable is the way he uses colors and muted backgrounds in his fashion shoots while switching easily to vivid backgrounds for his portrait work. So far, his work has been featured in advertisements for Burberry, H&M, Max Factor, Absolut Vodka, NK, Whyred, The Local Firm, L’Ecole National, Tiger of Sweden, MQ, Åhléns, Mini Rodini, Elle, Café, Plaza Magazine, Vogue Nippon, and Rodeo.

Rhodin is most definitely one to keep an eye on over the next few years. His work and signature style will no doubt have you wishing you kept some of his ads and covers further down the road.

— da Bird


Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up

It’s been another fun and interesting week in the photography world as spring arrives and photographers around the globe get out to capture the change in seasons and the various celebrations taking place in different countries. This week has also seen a lot of stories featuring new gear, accessories, and interviews from key leaders in the camera manufacturing world discussing their philosophy in everything from size to feature range.

All of these stories and more were featured in our Twitter feed this week. However, if you’re not following us on Twitter, we’ll recap the highlights for you below!


That’s all for this week, folks! Have a great weekend and we’ll see you again next week!

— da Bird