Smartphone Cameras

While our smartphones are equipped with better and better cameras , we’re still stuck with the same old digital zoom technology that’s been around for years. That’s because there’s no fixing digital zoom – it’s permanently broken, and has been all along. There are better ways of taking smartphone photos than to use digital zoom, avoiding blurry images and pixellated subjects. Today’s article is all about getting more from your iPhone, Android or other smartphone lens.

The best results you can get from your smartphone camera come from dedicated optics. There are a number of purpose-built zoom lenses for smartphone photographers, designed solely to provide magnification without resorting to digital zoom or moving closer to your subject. Tailor-made zooms like the Photojojo 2x $20 telephoto and slightly more expensive $35 8x-12x telephoto work, though can be a little unwieldy and provide relatively “soft” images due to the quality of the optics.

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Stock photos


Stock photos are shot by professional or semiprofessional photographers and are usually contained in search-able databases. Stock photo agencies purchase these stock photos from private photographers, typically on a contractual basis. Microstock photography services offer a less expensive type of stock photo, but they must be purchased in large volumes and they are always royalty free. So the trick is to shoot, shoot, shoot. Stock photo agencies that offer lower resolution photographs for free in exchange for advertising also exist.

The stock photo industry has been turned upside down as a result of the Internet and camera phone, It used to be that only large news organizations could afford to purchase photos from a small number of stock photo companies. After the Internet lowered the barrier to entry, the dynamics of the business were changed completely.

One of the evolving domains in stock photography is called “micro stock”. A micro stock agency, as the name implies, is a stock agency that deals with low (micro) price – about a dollar – photographs. Usually the micro stock agencies will restrict the uses allowed for a photograph. The interface is usually web based, allowing the photographer to quickly upload, and the customer, an easy selection and download mechanism. The micro stock agencies have a quantity favored policy.

In the world of microstock photography one must check the ego at the door. Experienced photographers should find that they will be welcomed by most microstock agencies. However it’s important to remember that all images submitted to all agencies are reviewed before they are publicly available. No matter how experienced you are you will inevitably find that some of your images will be refused at some point.

Don’t be offended by initial rejections or refusal of specific images. The people who review the images will usually be microstock photographers themselves. They are after all only human and they will inevitably have slightly differing views on what is and is not acceptable. Images can be rejected for a variety of reasons. From technical imperfections to unsuitable subject matter


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Black eyed Susan

How long will it take to learn photography?

A difficult question..

It’s a fair question, but an over-concern with the answer might indicate the wrong attitude After all, this isn’t a contest. Slow methodical learning will achieve greater results; being overly concerned with learning quickly runs contrary to the whole mind-set that a good photographer should exhibit.


How to take the questionnaire

All of the following statements assume that you are open to instruction, attentive, and having a good time. Add up the ‘points’ as indicated below the questions for a total score. The result is my estimation of the number of months it will take you to learn how to be a great photographer.


I take my camera with me____ days per week.

7 days (0 points) 6 days (1 point) 5 days (2 points) 4 days (3 points) 3 days (4 points) 2 days (5 points) 1 day (6 points) 0 days (7 points)


On the days that I take my camera with me I do so for ____ minutes per day.
60 and up (0 points) 40 – 60 (1 point) 30 – 40 (2 points) 20 – 30 (3 points) 10 – 20 (4 points) less than 10 (5 points) zero (6 points) 


I enjoy showing my pictures to others
Indicate your level of agreement or disagreement with the above statement.
AGREE …. (1 point) …. (2 points) …. (3 points) …. (4 points) …. (5 points) …. DISAGREE 


I have a good understanding of my camera’s functions.
Indicate your level of agreement or disagreement with the above statement.
AGREE …. (1 point) …. (2 points) …. (3 points) …. (4 points) …. (5 points) …. DISAGREE 


I am creative
Indicate your level of agreement or disagreement with the above statement.
AGREE …. (1 point) …. (2 points) …. (3 points) …. (4 points) …. (5 points) …. DISAGREE 


I have a great desire to learn photography
Indicate your level of agreement or disagreement with the above statement.
AGREE …. (1 point) …. (2 points) …. (3 points) …. (4 points) …. (5 points) …. DISAGREE 


Total points equals the number of months it will take you to learn photography

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More about Lenses

Just as there is no one camera that is perfect for every shooting situation, the same goes for lenses. Some lenses in certain situations have distinct advantages over others. An extra element of challenge is added through experimenting with different lenses, like using a certain lens in a situation where it’s not normally used.

Lens mounts

All SLR cameras have interchangeable lenses, attached to the camera by means of a mount, the most popular mount is thr bayonet mount. This is operated by depressing or sliding a small button on the camera body positioned near the lens. The lens can then be turned 45 degrees in a clockwise direction and pulled gently forward from the camera body, and another lens inserted using the reverse procedure.  {note} To avoid collecting dust on the sensor, always insure that the camera is turned off, before changing lenses.

Choice of lenses

Interchangeability of lenses opens up a whole new world of choices and is probably the biggest single factor in improving photographic creativity. Lenses come as either prime lenses or zoom lenses. The prime lens has a fixed focal length such as 28mm, or 50mm, or 135mm; and a zoom lens has a variable focal length in one lens such as a 17-40mm lens or a 55-200mm lens. The benefits of a prime lens are the highest possible image quality; often a larger maximum aperture (known as a faster lens) which equates to better low light shooting and a shallower depth of field (DOF). This type of lens can be very useful in portraiture especially; and they are fairly small and discreet. Usually though you will want to carry at least three prime lenses with you to cover the range of focal lengths. Most prime lenses are autofocus, but offer the option of manual focus, there are some high quality manual focus being made and many older lenses will also produce very good results.  A zoom is very practical in that one lens will often cover the focal length of three prime lenses. They are, however, generally larger in size and in many cases the pure image quality isn’t as high as a prime, and the distortion could be greater. On the other hand some zoom lenses offer an image quality just as good as a prime lens at certain focal lengths. Just about all zoom lenses are autofocus, but offer a manual focus option.

Wide-angle lenses

A wide-angle lens (14mm to 35mm) gives a wider angle of view, so more area in front of the camera will appear in the shot. Like any piece of equipment there are disadvantages as well as benefits; the most common in wide-angle lenses is with landscape photography where the foreground may lack interest so the eye is not naturally led to the central point of the picture. On the other hand, using a wide-angle lens allows subjects to be photographed closer to the lens than usual, while keeping the background in focus. In some cases this effect can greatly enhance composition.


Standard lens (50mm)

This focal length will give an angle of view similar to what we see with our own eyes. Standard lenses are usually small in size with a large maximum aperture of 2.8, 1.8 or 1.4.


Telephoto lenses (70mm to 800mm)

A medium telephoto lens has many advantages. As well as bringing distant objects closer, it is a wonderful lens for portraits. It has definite advantages over a wide-angle lens in this situation as, when used straight on to someone’s face, a wide-angle lens will add an unflattering, albeit at times amusing quality. A telephoto lens in the region of 100 mm enables the photographer to stand some distance away making the subject more relaxed and allowing an unrestricted light source. The lens will very slightly compress the image, making for a much more pleasing portrait. The DOF will be less, so the background can be put out of focus and a part of the subject’s face, such as the eyes can be highlighted. Very long telephoto lenses from 200mm and above will get you in even closer to the action and are invaluable in sports and wildlife photography.


Fisheye lenses

These lenses can be fun and used to dramatic effect, but as an everyday piece of equipment fisheye lenses have limited use and the novelty wears off after a few uses.


A macro  lens

The macro lens allows you to get very close to the subject without the need for special closeup attachements on the camera. Depending on the lens used, small objects can be magnified to produce a final print that shows them life-size. Many of the lenses in the 28-300mm range have this built-in and it’s worth considering paying a little extra at the outset if you are interested in macro photography. Certainly if you are thinking nature or abstract photography, you will be interested in macro effects.


Shift/tilt lens

The shift or perspective control lens permits the photographer to shoot very tall subjects without the problem of converging verticals; this occurs when the sides of the subject taper toward the top of the picture.


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Basic Composition

Basic composition video

Good Composition

Various methods have been used by artists and photographers over the course of many years to improve composition.  But what are the key elements of good composition?  On one level, good composition is all about arranging the elements in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen so that their shape, form, color, and tone interact with one another in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. Of course this is very subjective-an image that resonates with one viewer may leave another viewer cold. Employing certain compositional techniques, however is usually a good place to start.

Capture the moment

For many new photographers, one of the hardest skills to learn is how to capture the complete essence of a moment or scene, just as we experienced it when taking the picture.  For example, if we are at the beach, we have the added benefit of experiencing the smells and sound of seagulls squawking, the fine texture of sand between our toes and the heat of the sun – all of which define that very specific sense of time and place. Yet when we come to view the images on-screen or in print we often find that they don’t always recreate the original sense of time and place that we felt when taking the picture.  Good composition is a way of using techniques that will help you create images that are visually pleasing and successfully conjure up the emotions and memories of a specific location or event. We’re now going to look at a few of the first rules of composition. But it’s important not to get hung up on these “rules” because doing so may stifle creativity and hinder spontaneity, so consider these rules  more as guidelines; something to help rather than struggle to adhere to

  • Fill the frame: Of all the compositional rules and tips, perhaps the most effective (and straightforward to understand) is to “fill the frame”. It’s amazing how many images -especially portraits- are taken from too far away or do not use the camera’s or lens’ zoom to its full potential.  Part of the reason for this is because our brains are very good at filtering out stimuli such as sights and sounds that we’re not specifically concentrating on. When we focus on something,  it is that object that fills our “mental frame” and has our undivided attention. In our mind’s eye it appears to fill the frame even though we might physically be some distance away.  This will almost certainly result in pictures that render the subject small and insignificant in the frame.
  • Keep it simple:This next compositional tip is a logical extension of filling the frame. Almost all keen, novice photographers are guilty of trying to catch too much -whether it’s a landscape, portrait or still-life. It’s unclear why this is -maybe we’re trying to provide the viewer with a more “complete image” of the scene hoping that this will convey more powerfully what we want the viewer to see? But as everybody knows things work exactly the opposite way -the less visually cluttered an image, the  more powerful it becomes.
  • Rule of thirds: ( As we mentioned earlier the “rule of thirds” is one of the most popular and widely used compositional tools. The “rule” was developed in the mid-19th century, primarily as a guide for landscape artists, but was quickly adopted by photographers who spotted it’s value, first in landscape photography, then in other genres,

Frame Within a Frame: Like the rule of thirds, a “frame within a frame” is technique first used by landscape artists and later by photographers .  There are a gazillion ways this technique can be used to create very different results. I will only mention a few here. 1. landscape: One of the most popular frame-within-a-frame techniques is used in landscape photography, where trees or other foreground subjects are used to frame a distant view. 2. Focus: To create a perception of depth this technique usually works best if both the foreground “border” and subject are in sharp focus, but it pays to experiment. Walk farther back from the elements you’re intending to use as the border, use your camera’s zoom to close in on the distant subject making sure that the camera doesn’t focus on any foreground elements. 3. Portrait: This technique works in a slightly different way in portrait photography, as the subject is often within the object that is acting as the frame. Since the frame and subject are the same distance from the camera, you won’t get the same perception of depth. Instead the frame acts like a border, visually containing the subject and enhancing his or her importance. This also places context by putting the subject in a specific place or situation.

Choosing a View: There are many situations when taking a picture where a simple change of viewpoint can make all the difference  between the resulting shot being very good or just mediocre. Viewpoint can be defined as the position from which a photograph is taken.  The photographer takes into account the background, foreground and any interesting angles that will lead the eye naturally towards the emphasis of the image.  By using different viewpoints the photographer can dramatically alter the impact of a photo.  On many occasions it may be possible to use detail in the foreground by either tilting the camera downward or simply moving slightly to one side.  These small shifts of position or angle, that may seen insignificant at the time, can make the difference between a dramatic shot or a dull one. {To help judge your choice of viewpoint, simply make a rectangle with your thumbs and forefingers of both hands, and  look through to judge your chosen image. To tighten the “frame” slide the right hand closer to the left, keeping the  rectangle steady. To zoom in extend your arms removing the background and making the subject appear larger.}

Using Foreground: Foreground can play an important part in the general composition of photographs. A point of interest in the foreground close to the camera can be used either as a framing device or as a tool to lead the eye into the picture.  This kind of added interest can make all the difference between the great and the humdrum.

  1. Using foreground as a disguise : Foregrounds can be used to hide objects or unwanted intrusions in the middle or background of the photo. But you must make sure that the foreground doesn’t dominate the picture
  2. Objects in the foreground : Although objects in the foreground of a picture can often add interest, it’s all to easy to let them appear with uninteresting regularity.
  3. Use of perspective to create foreground interest: More foreground interest can be created by using perspective, for example when taking a landscape shot the sky can dominate the scene so that the landscape itself is undermined. If this happens, perhaps including a tree with an overhanging branches within the shot could frame the top of your picture and diminish the overpowering impact of the sky.

Using Background: The background of a photo can enhance the overall composition of an image as much as the foreground. As a general rule, backgrounds shouldn’t dominate the picture and obscure the main subject. This jars the eye and gives an overall impression of a cluttered photo. Also a flat, dull background can influence the whole picture so that all interest is lost. A telephoto lens can produce a compressed image by reducing the depth between the middle and foreground.


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Alex Manfredini An artist’s biography

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Manfredini a Professional Photographer with a broad focus in specialty including Glamour Modeling, High Fashion, Artistic Nudes, Erotic Art, and Alter Ego Photography. His photography has been featured in multiple magazines and websites both nationally and internationally. His magnetic personality and professional photography skills transform any photo session into a unique and memorable experience.

Alex Manfredini was born in Buenos Aires Argentina a  long time ago. Alex holds a Master’s degree in public relations and explained that his educational growth is never-ending, “I can say that I am continuously building myself as the photographer that I am.” Alex said during our interview. Alex enjoys attending any photography related seminars when ever his schedule permits. Alex also said that you always learn new things from colleagues, new techniques, new gear and different ways to get the results you want.

Getting down to the “tacks of brass” I asked some of the standard interviewing questions For example; What was your first camera and when did you get it?Alex said that his first professional camera was a Horseman LE 4×5 with a 150mm Schneider lens. “I got it used in a photography trade show in Miami. I loved so much that camera that I still have it l as part of my live memorabilia”

I Also asked what marked the beginning of his professional career and Alex explained that producing the Sofia Vergara calendar in 1997. “That was the click that triggered me as a glamour artist”

For my next question I asked which “gig” was Alex’s best and he stated that You can define “best” as best money, best art, best exposure, best satisfaction, etc. Those that when finished the shoot, you’re no longer the same person. “The most spiritual experience was an assignment to do a memorabilia images for Bob Marley’s family. My client flew me to Nine Mile, Jamaica, and I spent a week sharing good time with Mama Marley, Bob’s first house in the mountain, his rock “pillow” where he relax and inspire for his songs, etc. And the most important: the local people who treated me as another family member. I arrived to the place worried if I will have broadband internet connection to upload the pics to my server, and found a peaceful place where the main concern was changed to If I will be able to take a shower it will be only if it rains during my stay

When it comes to his fan-base and customers Alex believes that basically people who have a perceptiveness of art are a part of this. Photographers go to his workshops to learn his lighting techniques, models want Alex to build their portfolios which will set them apart from the others , propelling careers. Women, beautiful women, want tangible memories (portraits) either for themselves or for someone special in their lives. As well as art collectors that buy his books or prints.

Our focus turned to Alex’s sense of satisfaction, influence and strengths some of the factors that contribute to these feelings are having a vision in mind and the ability to recreate that vision in the digital world as it was imagined. Alex influences people through his art. He defines his art as a “weapon of mass seduction” While his fans say that they use Alex’s art as inspiration. All in all Alex’s will affect the viewer in one way or another. It is impossible to remain indifferent. Alex’s strengths are many but technically it is apparent that Alex Manfredini is a master of lighting. Artistically it is in the balance of eroticism and style. Alex’s art appeals to women because of the high styled makeovers and to men because of the provocative poses.

I asked Alex to explain why he creates his art? He explained that as a meaningful way of expressing what he is feelings, the art is perfect for communicating ideas, beliefs and passion. This led me to ask what set’s Alex Manfredini apart, what are you doing that no one else is doing? Alex explained that, although he doesn’t work for free, He does strive for client satisfaction. Alex is familiar with working with people who have no experience in front of a camera, in the nude, and apprehensive. Alex assures them their comfort and respect at all times.

By far Alex Manfredini’s most iconic work to date is titled “Sexy Beast”. Alex has won numerous awards for this beautiful piece of art. The people love it. Some of artists that Alex Manfredini relates to include George Hurrell, Helmut Newton, Amsel Adams, to name just a few of them


Sexy Beast

For my final question I asked Alex what style his art was called, Alex replied calling the style “Erotic Fashion”. Looking for a definition I found it to be something completely new. The closest genre of photography I found was Glamor photography ,in which the subjects, usually female, are portrayed in a sexually alluring manner. Yet Alex Manfredini goes beyond this showing the true erotic power within the subject. Like other Glamor photographer Alex stops short of intentionally sexually arousing the viewer, however Manfredini’s fans are left with some form of arousal 

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What Can You Do When Your Photo Files Get Out Of Hand

Keep It Simple.The first thing you can do is get organized by creating a file system that is simple. I have found that creating folders by years to work the best for me and inside the year folders are sub-folders with different subjects. Keeping yourself disciplined to put your photos away in their proper places is key in keeping organized
I Know It May Seem Hopeless I know for some this may seem to be a hopeless task but keep at it little by little you will take control of the situation. I have many of thousands of photos that were not organized and still have so many to go through yet but little by little I am taking control of what once seemed unmanageable. Make Backup Copy’s Of Your Files Once you have all of your files organized make a couple of copy’s of your folders and keep them in different locations. This will insure that you will always have them in case something ever happens to your original file. Being a computer programmer I have had several times that I have been working on a program or a file and lost everything because I did not take the time to back up what I was working on so do not let that happen to you.

©Michael Priest 2014

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Available Light

Recently we discussed accessory lighting, so now what do we do until that package from Amazon arrives. In photography “available light” is any natural light source used to light a scene, while this includes daylight for outdoor photography,  I would like to focus more on daylight (and standard domestic lighting) for indoor  photography and certain natural sources for night-time.

Although some of us may own a small lighting rig, many will not, so all photographers will have to rely on available, or “existing”  light  such as standard light bulbs at some point, especially when taking photographs indoors or outdoors during late evening or at night.

As we discussed earlier almost every camera out there comes with a small flash built into the body of the camera, but as useful as they are, such units usually only give relatively  low light levels and very often subjects are harshly lit.


Using available indoor light, daylight from windows shining into a room and normal domestic lighting, can produce very pleasing pictures.  Images taken with available are often much more atmospheric and show a greater sense of realism than those that have been laboriously lit using an arrangement of studio lights  and accessories.

The most important aspect to keep in mind while taking pictures under these conditions is that, when captured, images will seem to have far more pronounced areas of light and shadow that seemed apparent to the naked eye. When we spend time in a room our eyes are continuously and almost instantaneously adjusting for the well-lit and dimly lit areas as we look around, which create a fairly evenly lit room. The camera, however, is only capturing one specific part of the room at one specific moment of time, so resulting pictures will appear to have greater contrast.  Use this to your advantage to place emphasis  on certain elements or people - for example, sit someone in a chair that has been placed in a brighter area of a room and you’ll see that the darker regions of the room will recede, placing greater accentuation on the subject.

Setting exposure

If you’re going to include a window in the shot, the comparative brightness of the window relative to the rest of the room needs to be accounted for when setting exposure. Take a reading from a bright area near the window, press the exposure lock button, recompose the shot and take the picture. Depending on the strength of the light coming through the window, you should be able to hold most of the detail in the room without “blowing out” too much of the window itself. Try bracketing the exposure if you’re uncertain and checking the results on the camera’s LCD screen.

Color cast

Given the relatively low temperature of incandescent light bulbs – the most commonly used bulbs in the home – insure that the camera’s white balance setting is set to incandescent or auto to counteract the hue caused by such lighting. Even then, you might find that images will suffer from color cast that you will need to correct using editing software.

Tripod versus ISO

With low-light conditions there’s always the risk of camera shake if the shutter speed is insufficiently fast. If your tripod hasn’t arrived yet, increase the ISO setting, but do this in stages because noise from high ISO settings is more visible in dark scenes. If you do have your new tripod, then you can shoot at the lowest possible ISO setting without the risk of camera shake.  Keep in mind that even relatively slow-moving action may blur at speeds of 1/15 sec or longer.

Points to remember

  • Ambient light will allow you to retain more of the atmosphere of a scene than flash will.
  • Use slow shutter speeds, wide aperture or high ISO settings in low-light conditions.
  • Remember, however, that high ISO settings will introduce digital noise.

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Photography on a budget: Accessory Lighting

Accessory Lighting

The best lighting for photography on just about every occasion is natural light. Yet there are times when daylight needs to be supplemented or you need to provide all the light yourself. The easiest and most readily available source of supplementary lighting is electronic flash.

On-camera flash

Just about all digital cameras carry their own small flash units. These are convenient and offer a variety of features such as automatic flash-exposure control, and red-eye reduction. Unfortunately, not only is their power limited, their position very close to the lens causes unsightly shadows when the flash is the only source of light. And the subject is is close to a wall. The best use of on-camera flash is to lighten shadows in high-contrast or backlit situations.

Off-camera flash

In order to use off-camera flash, your digital camera needs to have an external flash-synchronization socket, or “Hot shoe”. These sockets differ, so getting the type of flash recommended by the camera manufacturer is the best course of action to take. With an off-camera flash, you need a model with a tilt and swivel head, allowing the head to point up and downward and form side to side. These movements allow you to bounce the light before it reaches the subject, softening the light’s effect.


My recommendation

Since I am always on the look out for equipment within my budget I discovered the

Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite for Canon Nikon Sony Panasonic Olympus Fujifilm Pentax Sigma Minolta Leica and Other SLR Digital SLR Film SLR Cameras and Digital Cameras with single-contact Hot Shoe . As you can see, this beauty fits more than a few cameras. 

M Mode Press the MODE key to M Mode. In this mode, you can set TT560 On to your camera hot shoe or speedlite trigger hot shoe to trigger the flash unit. When shooting, adjust the flash power and press the camera shutter, the flash light will flash under the camera synchronous signal. ?

2. S1 Mode (1) Press the MODE key to S1 Mode. The Mode is applicable for slave flash in order to create many lighting effects. It is respectively applicable for manual flash environment. ?(2) When the flash is S1 mode, it will fire synchronously when the master flash fires, comparable with the effect by the use of radio trigger. ?

3. S2 Mode Press the MODE key to S2 Mode. The mode is applicable for slave flash in order to create many lighting effects. It is respectively applicable for TTL flash environment. The flash unit won’t flash synchronously with the first flash but the second flash from the master flash. ?

4. Power-saving Function (1) To save battery power, the flash will enter stand-by state in about 30 minutes of idle use. Press any button to wake it up. (2) In S1/S2 mode, the flash will enter stand-by state in about 60 minutes of idle use. Press any button to wake it up.(3) In Power-saving mode, the charging indicator flickers in every 3 seconds. Other Indicators are turned off.

5. Protection Function (1) Protection in continuous flashes (2) Systematic over-temperature protection Specifications: Guide Number:38 ( ISO 100 ) Flash Mode: M, S1, S2 Vertical Rotation Angle :0~90 degrees Horizontal Rotation Angle: 0~270 degrees Power: 4xAAsize batteries ( Alkaline or Ni-MH are usable ) Lighting Times: 100-1500 times ( AA alkaline batteries used ) Recycle Time :approx 0.5-5.5s ( AA alkaline batteries used ) Light Quantity Output Control :with 1/8 – stop increment Color Temperature: 5600K Flash Duration :1/300s~1/20000s 100% Brand New. 3 Months Warranty. For the price this is amazing. Powerful and will really change the way you look at lighting

(although slow to recharge between shots on full strength), easy to use controls. Takes AA batteries so be sure to get some rechargeables! It stands a little tall when mounted, but it will definitely do the job


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No commercial use. Credit "European Parliament/Pietro Naj-Oleari"

5 Clever Portrait Photography Tips by Stuart Green

Photography is such a nice hobby to have. Photos are such a nice way to keep a memory of a certain things and you can really relive a certain moment with good photos. Taking pictures isn’t all that easy and you should spend some time practising to ensure you take the best photos ever.

If you like to take some nice portrait pictures then here are five clever tips to take on board.

1. Change Perspective

It is a good idea to try to make your portraits seem a bit different. Changing the perspective is a very good way of making your photos more interesting. Instead of always taking the picture from right in front of the person try going up or down for a new angle.

Seeing the subject from a different angle will add much more depth to the photo. It will also make people stop and really look at the picture in detail.

2. Play With Eye Contact

Another way of making your portraits a bit more different is to play with the eye contact. It isn’t necessary to always look at the camera when someone is taking a photo. Try with your subject looking away from the camera.

This adds a nice sense of mystery for the photo because we all want to know what it is that they are looking at.

If you have more than one person in the photo then you can also get them to look at each other. For example, when taking wedding photos it adds a lot more love and romance for the picture when the couple looks at each other.

3. Experiment With Lighting

Mastering lighting in photography is one of the hardest things to do. But it is also something that can really help you take stunning pictures. When you are taking portrait photos it is a good idea to change and play with the lighting. Include shadows for the picture, for example.

This adds a nice element to a picture and can really capture the viewer’s imagination.

There are plenty of good tips on the Internet for mastering lighting in photos. It is a good idea to read them and take multiple shots with different settings to really understand how it works. You can use websites such as to find out more.

4. Take Them In Natural Situations

Sometimes the best photos are the ones where people aren’t set out to be photographed. Portraits especially can easily look really organised and fake when everyone is just sitting in a studio and smiling at the camera.

So if you want to take great photos then go around and just take pictures of people. Sometimes the best shots are taken when the people are doing something they love.

5. Focus On A Specific Body Part

You also don’t need to take a portrait picture that shows the whole person or just his or her face. You can focus on any body part and make the photo thus a bit more exciting. For instance, just focus on the hands of the person or even just have half of their face in the image. It’ll make the photo a bit different and gives a new perspective.

Featured images:

Mark Norton loves photography and he is really passionate about getting photos on canvas in order to share them with others. He is always reading photography blogs online and loves taking pictures of his two dogs.

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