Getting the best out of Baby portrait photography

Feb 5th, 2013

To most people, family is the most important part in their lives. So preserving the memories of childhood especially in those early years when they are still babies is an absolute must. Although we all have great, almost foolproof, cameras these days, sometimes you need the help of a professional. A proper portrait session of your baby at a professional studio is the best way  to capture those lovely memories of your sons and daughters. Even though you may be able take great shots with your digital camera, sometimes you need to go the extra mile and have a professional photo shoot of your kids.

Having decided to to enlist the services of a professional, you should look out for a photographer who has a reputation of producing superb shots. The photographer must be able to bring out the personality and true character of your baby. This way, you will get a portrait that you can cherish and enjoy for a life time.

Despite the quality and ease of use of the latest cameras, where anyone with decent equipment is able to produce a good quality picture, baby photography is a unique piece of art that takes more than just a clever camera.

When they grow up, your children will thank you for the beautiful memories of their childhood and cherish the pictures themselves. A great, professionally produced, portrait will be cherished for a lifetime and handed on to the next generation,  it will have a longer life than any snapshot. A professional photography service such as venture baby photoshoots are capable of creating such beautiful memories.

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Blur or Bleah?

Jan 6th, 2013

I have written an article on motion blur which you can read here.

It is a ‘how to do it’ tutorial and also a discussion about when I think you can get away with it. Some of the pictures you may think have merit and others you may think are rubbish. Have a look at the article and let me know what you think by commenting here.

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Apple ‘discover’ lens flare

Oct 7th, 2012

OMG! I hope they’re not going to patent it. They might sue all other makers of cameras that have lens flare and then nobody will be able to make any cameras at all without paying a royalty to Apple. I wonder, would it be all lens flares or only purple ones? Read more…

Minimalism

Sep 10th, 2012
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“That’s a nice picture.”
“Oh, yeah, that one … yeah that’s one of my favorites.”
“Yeah it’s nice … what is it? Exactly?”
“It’s a cow in a field.” Read more…

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Do you know what you want?

Sep 7th, 2012
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Yep, a forty room mansion, private jet, six mega sports cars and a Rolls Royce for Sundays. No I mean as a photographer. Do you just wander around with your camera and hope to bump into something worth photographing, or do you go out with a definite plan, searching for whatever it was that you have appointed as the subject of the day.

Up until recently I would have said that going out with a plan is always best because you are far more likely to come back with something good. Wandering around aimlessly rarely works for me, I am likely to miss some obvious shots while I’m looking the other way at something else. I like to go with a plan and see it through to the end, if I go looking for turtles in the river, I don’t want to be distracted by bees on flowers and miss all the turtles. Read more…

I went on holiday … without my camera!

Aug 29th, 2012

It’s the oldest story in the book, you save all your pennies and buy a great camera and a gadget for every occasion and your camera bag becomes so heavy you don’t want to carry it around any more. Also the value of everything adds up (in my case to quite a lot) so you can’t leave it in the car, you can’t leave it in the hotel room, you’re actually doomed to carrying it with you wherever you go. A risky business indeed, you might easily leave it in a restaurant or on a train, never to see it again! So I decided on your behalf (altruistic to the end) to explore the pros and cons of using my phone to take pictures. Isn’t that wonderful of me? I sacrificed my holiday snaps so that your knowledge of the subject might be enriched.

The first thing to say about taking pictures with a phone is that I don’t like it. Read more…

Wait for something to happen, if it doesn’t, make it happen

Aug 17th, 2012
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As an amateur photographer you have the luxury of going out to take photos and coming back with nothing. It doesn’t make you a happy bunny but it’s not the end of the world either. As a pro you are expected to come back with something halfway decent even when sent to the most unpromising of events.

Yesterday I was sent out to get some pictures of students receiving their ‘A’ level results. These exam results of course, mean a great deal as their future at university or college hangs in the balance. The trouble is, from my point of view, they do not often show much emotion about the whole thing and, being the middle of summer, they are all dressed for the beach not in their smart school clothes. There wasn’t going to be much choice of background either, if I took too long fussing around I was going to miss half of the shots. So it was with very low expectations that I turned up and set about the task in hand. Read more…

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Twinkle, twinkle little crowd

Aug 12th, 2012

I’m sure like me you’ve all been participating in the armchair olympics. I am proud to report that I received a silver medal in the six foot sofa endurance event, racking up an impressive average of eighteen hours a day. While I was watching the events, particularly the track and field, I couldn’t help but notice the continuous twinkling coming from the crowd. Now I’m sure you have worked out that this was not some special effect overlayed onto the footage by some super keen After Effects wizard to make Usain Bolt look even cooler, but the flashes from zillions of cameras.

I try to make it a point not to criticise other photographers but I have to ask myself “What were these people thinking?” Did they actually think that their puny flashes were going to make any difference to the light level in the olympic stadium? Have you ever been to an event that is lit for television? The place was lit up like armageddon, there was so much light it was like god forgot to do sunset!

Bright light aside, these people were at least three miles from the action. The inverse square law would have laughed out loud at their efforts to light up the athletes. The best they could hope for would have been to light up the bald patch of the guy in the seat in front of them.

I can only assume that these people did not know how to switch off the flash on their cameras. Had they done so they would have stood a slightly better chance of getting a half way decent photo because the camera would have used a slower shutter speed and wider aperture and the guy in front would have at least been in the dark.

Now I’m off to watch the closing ceremony and a million more flashes.

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Digital Zooms? Don’t talk to me about Digital Zooms.

Aug 6th, 2012

There are certain combinations of words that are guaranteed to make me go red in the face and shout a lot, ‘politically correct’, ‘health and safety’ (yeah yeah I know we need them both really but I’m being emotional today) and my particular favorite: ‘digital zoom’. Let’s get one thing straight right now, there is no such thing as a ‘digital zoom’. It’s complete marketing speak. There only to sucker you in to thinking that a camera without a zoom lens is somehow redeemed by having a digital zoom, or that a camera that has both has not one, but two ways of getting you closer to the action. How wonderful these boffins are! They spit in the face of the laws of physics and bring us such fabulous cameras! The digital zoom facility on all my cameras (still and video) is the first thing that gets switched off when I take the shiny new camera out of it’s box, and remains off until the camera gets relegated to a dusty corner of the will-never-get-used-again-but-can’t-bear-to-throw-it-away cupboard.

A digital zoom should correctly be called an ‘in camera cropping facility’, although I can see why the marketing guys might have a problem with that one. Not quite so sexy as ‘digital zoom’ is it? But it does describe exactly what the thing does. The ‘digital zoom’ does no more, and a lot less, than the crop tool in your favorite photo editing software. It is not a magic way to get you closer to the action, it is a way of discarding the pixels at the edge of your picture, leaving you with a smaller picture which is then enlarged, magically! (not), to fill the frame. A much better option is to leave the photo as shot, with all the pixels intact, until you get to a computer and crop it there, where you can have much more control over how you crop. Even the most meager app found on a smart phone has a crop tool, so there is no excuse for being sucked in to using the digital zoom.

And most important of all, when you are choosing a camera and comparing specifications, a ‘digital zoom’ is not the same as an optical zoom. It is not even an inferior version of an optical zoom. It is a cropping tool, and a very inferior one at that.

Meek Geeks and Camera Speak

Aug 6th, 2012

Have you ever been cornered at a party by someone who is really passionate about some hobby about which you know absolutely nothing? You want to show interest, be polite, get involved but, “Oh My God is that the time? I really have to go now.”

Well, believe it or not, that’s how some people feel about photography. I know. Incredible isn’t it? How could anyone not be interested in photography? It’s so much part of life, the universe, everything!

That’s why the internet is so fantastic, we don’t have to scour the town for people to talk to who understand what we are saying, lurking in dark corners at parties thinking “there must be another photographer in here somewhere”. We can just fire up the computer, Google photography and instantly (depending on connection speed :-) ) we have millions of new friends who understand what we are talking about. And the great thing is we don’t have to talk about anything else. No-one is going to eavesdrop on our conversation and accuse us of being obsessive because they’re all on other sites being obsessive about something else. So yeah! Let’s talk photography and not feel ashamed. Tell me how many megapixels you have got under the bonnet. Let’s come out of the closet and embrace the thing we all love, exchange views, exchange tips, teach, learn, talk!

I don’t know what’s the matter with me this morning, someone must have spiked my coffee. Anyway,leave a comment here or go to the forum, sign up if you haven’t already and let’s talk.

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