Monthly Archives: June 2017

Underwater Photography

Underwater photography is the process of taking photographs while under water. It is usually done while scuba diving, but can be done while diving on surface supply, snorkeling, swimming, from a submersible or remotely operated underwater vehicle, or from automated cameras lowered from the surface. Underwater photography can also be categorised as an art form and a method for recording data. Successful underwater imaging is usually done with specialized equipment and techniques. However, it offers exciting and rare photographic opportunities. Animals such as fish and marine mammals are common subjects, but photographers also pursue shipwrecks, submerged cave systems, underwater “landscapes”, invertebrates, seaweeds, geological features, and portraits of fellow divers.

The use of a flash or strobe is often regarded as the most difficult aspect of underwater photography. Some misconceptions exist about the proper use of flash underwater, especially as it relates to wide-angle photography. Generally, the flash should be used to supplement the overall exposure and to restore lost color, not as the primary light source. In situations such as the interior of caves or shipwrecks, wide-angle images can be 100% strobe light, but such situations are fairly rare. Usually, the photographer tries to create an aesthetic balance between the available sunlight and the strobe. Deep, dark or low visibility environments can make this balance more difficult, but the concept remains the same. Many modern cameras have simplified this process through various automatic exposure modes and the use of through-the-lens (TTL) metering. The increasing use of digital cameras has reduced the learning curve of underwater flash significantly, since the user can instantly review photos and make adjustments. Color is absorbed as it travels through water, so that the deeper you are, the less reds, oranges and yellow colors remain. The strobe replaces that color. It also helps to provide shadow and texture, and is a valuable tool for creativity.

Another format considered part of underwater photography is the over/under or split image, a composition that includes roughly half above the surface and half underwater, with both in focus. One of the pioneers of the traditional technique was National Geographic photographer David Doubilet, who used it to capture scenes above and below the surface simultaneously. Split images are popular in recreational scuba magazines, often showing divers swimming beneath a boat, or shallow coral reefs with the shoreline seen in the background. Over/under shots present some technical challenges beyond the scope of most underwater camera systems. Normally an ultra wide angle lens is used, similar to the way it would be used in everyday underwater photography. However, the exposure value in the above water part of the image is often higher (brighter) than in the one underwater. There is also the problem of refraction in the underwater segment, and how it affects the overall focus in relation to the air segment. There are specialized split filters designed to compensate for both of these problems, as well as techniques for creating even exposure across the entire image. However, pro photographers often use extremely wide or fisheye lens that provides extensive depth of field – and a very small aperture for even more extensive depth of field; this is intended for acceptably sharp focus both on the nearby underwater subject and the more distant elements above water. An external flash can also be very useful underwater, on a low setting, to balance the light: to overcome the difference in brightness of the elements above and below the water.

Shots of Food for Restaurant

Since you want to sell the food on a menu, the images of said food need to be top-notch. Again, people won’t find poorly shot food appetizing to eat, and including low-quality pictures of certain dishes on a menu would likely dissuade people from ordering those dishes! Part food photography, part great technique, taking electrifying shots of food for a menu is an exciting and rewarding process that will translate into real profits. Some may have a big budget they can spend on the shoot, which means you as the photographer are like a kid in a candy store, as you’ll have access to better lighting and equipment, but that’s not always necessary. At the same time, maybe you want to bring in a host of expensive equipment yourself because the shoot is for a big client. For some more low-budget clients—maybe it’s a casual-fare restaurant that’s just opened or even a food truck – relying on just natural light for your shoot can work wonders, too. After all, the determining factor is really the technique you use, more than anything else. In this piece, we’ll look at natural lighting.

Even great menu photography deserves thoughtful composition. Remember that these shots are vital to your client’s business, as customers will be making their buying decisions in large part based on your photos. You don’t want to overcrowd the photo because the subject is obviously going to be the plates of food. Putting too many elements into the background can distract from the food you’re shooting, and that would be self-defeating. Instead, use minimalism to overcome this potential source of trouble. Limit your foreground or background elements to just one or two, thus ensuring that your dishes are the main stars of your menu photography. The elements in the foreground or background should also be blurry (out of focus), so that viewers have no choice but to look at the food and pay attention to it.

Photographing food for a client’s menu is considerable fun and also stimulating work. Besides dealing with the challenges of shooting inside of a restaurant and finding that natural light in only a few, choice places, you’ll also have to contend with the challenge of making your food look great. That’s no easy task, to say the least! But when you focus on great technique like making sure your composition is lined up right, then even the most challenging menu shoot becomes something manageable. And if you still have problems with the food, don’t hesitate to try unexpected tricks to really doll the food up. After all, the only thing that matters with menus is making the pictures you take for them good enough to eat right off the page.

Creating an Impressive Photography Portfolio

However, creating a photography portfolio is not easy. It’s not something that you can do in a few hours or overnight. You have to invest your time, effort, talents, and your photography skills to create an impressive collection. After all, your portfolio is your investment; it is your calling card and it introduces your work to the world. There are now two ways for you to create a portfolio. You can choose to make a physical portfolio, or you can go with an online portfolio. For maximum visibility, however, you should go for both. Create a traditional photography portfolio first and then find someone to help you make an online portfolio. You can choose to do just one, but majority of clients nowadays look for both. So it’s better to be sure than sorry.

1. Identify Your Audience

Before you start building your portfolio, you need to identify your niche or audience first. To whom do you want to show your photos? To whom are you trying to reach out? Who do you wish would view your photos? Knowing the answers to the said questions will help you determine your reason for creating the portfolio. Additionally, the answers can also help you identify the style, tone, and content your portfolio should possess.

For example, if your target audience is couples planning their weddings, your portfolio should showcase engagement, bridal shower, and wedding photos. Likewise, the tone and style should also complement an engagement or wedding vibe. If you have a website, your main homepage should feature your niche photos. For instance, in Sumastre Photography, we specialize in aerial photography. We highlighted all our aerial photography and videography works at the top of the homepage so that it will be prominently displayed at the website. It’s the first set of photo-collection the visitors and potential clients will see – no need for them to click other links or navigate away from the main webpage.

2. Choose Your Photos Wisely

You will need to plan or choose which photos to include in your portfolio. Better yet, decide on whether or not you need to shoot new ones (most photographers do this). Brainstorming (if you have a team or with your friends) and planning are two ways of making sure that your project is well organized.

3. Create a Web Presence

Since you’re going to build an online portfolio, too, you have to create a website. Make this a part of your brainstorming session, but be sure that you have a good web designer with you. The designer can help in laying out the technical attributes of the website, including the SEO side of it (if you want your site optimized for search engines). Likewise, with a designer around, you’ll have someone who can help you with the visual aspects. Designers have a very keen eye for details, and this is an advantage for anyone who wants to come up with an attention-grabbing portfolio.

Motion Blur

Motion blur is the apparent streaking of rapidly moving objects in a still image or a sequence of images such as a movie or animation. It results when the image being recorded changes during the recording of a single exposure, either due to rapid movement or long exposure.

In televised sports, where conventional cameras expose pictures 25 or 30 times per second, motion blur can be inconvenient because it obscures the exact position of a projectile or athlete in slow motion. This can lead to more perceived motion blurring above and beyond the pre-existing motion blur in the video material. See display motion blur. Sometimes, motion blur can be removed from images with the help of deconvolution. In video games the use or not of motion blur is somewhat controversial. Some gamers claim that the blur actually makes gaming worse since it does blur images, making more difficult to recognize objects, especially in fast-paced moments. This does become noticeable the lower the frame rate is.

How do you blur the background in your photo in the camera?

1. Open the aperture more for a shallow depth of field.

Use a wider aperture (thats the opening in your lens) by choosing a smaller f number on your camera’s settings. This will cause less of the scene to be in sharp focus, something we call a shallow depth of field. The reason why a wider aperture results in more background blur, and a thinner area of focus can be explained by a scattering effect. Think of a garden hose, with the nozzle almost closed, producing a thin jet of water. Since the water does not spread very much, over distance, the water’s spray does not change very much. Now the same hose and water, with a wider, more open nozzle – the water sprays out, and the further it travels, the wider and softer the spray. Light travels in a similar way. A wide aperture allows the light entering to spread much more, causing a scatter effect from any light that is from out of the focus zone. The wider the aperture, the more this scatter occurs.

2. Use a longer focal length to blur the background more.

Zoom in more, or use a longer lens. The more zoomed in you are, the more shallow the depth of field. It’ll also compress the scene, making distant objects appear to be closer, but more blurred out. An oversimplified explanation – By zooming in, the actual depth of field doesn’t change, but the angle of view is much smaller, meaning you’ll only capture a smaller area of background. With a smaller angle of view, the rays of light entering the camera are more parallel, and less focused.

3. Get closer to the subject for that macro effect.

By getting closer to the point of focus you’ll move the focus area closer, and throw the background more out of focus. This is how macro lenses work.

4. Combine these tips for maximum blur.

Choosing a wider aperture, and a longer lens, then getting really close to the details, you’ll get maximum blur and really restrict focus to the area you want the attention to be on.