Seascape Photography

One of my favorite subjects of photography is in fact a subcategory of Landscape Photography. I'm talking about Seascape Photography.

The sea has been written about in numerous novels, poems and songs. The sea has been the subject of countless paintings and art works and since the introduction of the camera, the sea has been the subject of many great professional photographers and amateur photographers alike.

Why a Seascape? The sea is the most powerful force on earth. It is capable of great destruction and great beauty and often both at the same time. The sea is a sustainer of life and capable of extinguishing life equally. Covering more than two thirds of the planet, the sea is not only the most powerful force on earth but the most dominant. The seas great beauty and grace touches everyone's life in one way or another. Its easy to understand why the sea is the subject of so much great art.

The sea, like man, is full of emotion and passion. There is nothing more haunting than an angry swell filled sea with ominous gray skies and wicked white caped waves. Equally there is nothing more peaceful than a tranquil placid sea at sunset with waves gently sweeping a shoreline.

I think the vastness and power of the sea is what makes it intriguing to so many. When the sea is angry, it is a force to be fearful of and respected. When the sea is calm it lies sweetly like a gentle giant.

Although I enjoy seascapes and stories that capture the raw force and power of an ominous ocean, I find myself more partial to a seascape photograph of a calm sea. I most enjoy a Beach Scene of waves gently caressing the shore at sunset or an amazing tropical seascape full of color and life. To me there is nothing on earth more calming and relaxing than a gentle sea kissing the shore of a tropical beach at sunset. That would be my definition of paradise and I probably share that definition of paradise with many people, I think.

I try to spend all my vacation time at the beach but when I can't be near the ocean, I enjoy viewing beautiful Seascape Photography. No matter how hard my day was, when I gaze upon a beautiful Seascape picture, it takes me to a peaceful place and makes everything all right. That's the power of the Sea and a beautiful Seascape Photograph.

Fashion Photography Tips For Beginners

A successful career in fashion photography involves more than just knowing how to use your camera. I learned that first hand on my first trip to fashion week in New York. I went there as an assistant with a local fashion photographer who I was shadowing while in college. I wasn't really sure what to expect as I had never been to a fashion show. Having your first fashion show be one of the biggest isn't all that bad I guess. It was a chance to see if this was the career that I wanted to go into. I had always envisioned myself shooting weddings or taking family portraits. This was until I met a local fashion photographer. He was originally from New York and had worked there for over 20 years. He gave me my first intern job and for that I will always be grateful. From that point on I knew exactly what I wanted to be and that was a fashion photographer. Here are a few tips that I've learned over the years from experience and by other's in the industry.

I know this will probably sound like a no brainer, but the easiest part of your job is taking the picture. The problem with this easy part is that most photographers know how to take pictures, but don't know how to use their camera. That's why you should always learn how to use your camera properly. There are a few ways you can learn how to use your camera properly. You can teach yourself through reading manuals. These days there are online photography forums that you can ask questions and obtain feedback on how to use your camera. There is also an unlimited number of amateur and professional photographer's blogs that can assist you as well. I prefer going to local photography clubs to get hands on help. I also recommend taking a local photography class at your local vocational school as well.

Having the proper equipment is essential to get good quality photos. You'll need reflectors and diffuser's with you at all times. You'll need to make sure that you have monopods and tripods as well. When It comes to the proper lens to choose from. I don't have a specific brand or model that I recommend. I think it's more a trial and error process that you have to go through first. I always recommend you rent various lens and even different camera models. This will save you from spending money on a lens or camera that you don't feel comfortable with. Most companies won't take back a lens or camera after you have used it. The resell market never offers equal value to items you may have purchased. This is the case even if it only has a few hours of use on it.

Now that you know how to use your camera properly it's time to find some models. I found the best way to get a model willing to do a shoot for free is find one that is trying to build their portfolio. This way you can practice on your technique and both of you can work on building your portfolio. You can try various websites on the internet that can aid you in your search. You might want to beware of craigslist when searching for models. This experience is invaluable in helping you with your lighting techniques and getting comfortable directing a photo shoot. The best part is once you've gone through a few shoots you'll have quite a few photos to work on your editing skills.

Business Plans For The Wedding and Portrait Photography Business

Like anything in life, setting goals gives us drive and determination. Without a focus or a deadline, us feeble human beings tend to drift along a never ending road of confusion and despair. By setting some well defined and realistic business goals right from the start, you will feel achievement when you have reached them and also get a clear definition of how your business is growing in line with your expectations.

You need to determine where you want your business to be in one year, two years and three years time. Hard as it is to judge, you must try and estimate the number of weddings that you think you may undertake in the first, second and third year. You must also assess where you are going to advertise and how much to allocate to this in these years, who are you going to secure funding from, how much profit you would like to achieve etc.

Below I have shown an example of some typical business goals:
Year 1
  • Secure funding in line with the forecasted financial needs
  • Purchase all necessary equipment
  • Establish website and get it up and running
  • Analyse good advertising avenues
  • Build relationships with other local wedding providers
  • Create 3 distinctive albums for display purposes
  • Take on 10 weddings
  • Enter 3 competitions for experience
  • Achieve 2,000 profit
Year 2
  • Take on 20 weddings and put prices up by 50%
  • Employ a Digital Imaging assistant to process up weddings
  • Undertake 2 wedding fayres
  • Rent out own studio and start expanding portrait side of the business
  • Build on relationships made with other wedding providers
  • Attain LBIPP status
  • Achieve a profit of 10,000
Business Plans

A thorough business plan is absolutely vital and the importance of it cannot be stressed highly enough. The business plan is not just something that must be done in order to secure funding; every business venture needs to do one. You need to sit down and construct a well thought out business plan, which details every aspect of your business. You need to do this, not only to focus your minds but it is also a requirement for grant providers and bank lenders who may not take you seriously otherwise.

It is equally important to amend the plan on a regular basis, as time progresses and priorities change. The whole purpose of the written plan is to focus your mind on the key elements and goals of your business. The very act of preparing the plan will make you take a close look at the competition; the services they provide and their pricing structures; yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. This enables you to identify any potential problem areas you may experience and turn them into positives.

Homeschool Curriculum Review - Fundamentals Of Photography

Course Review - Fundamentals of Photography

If you have an interest in taking a Digital Photography 101 course, you are sure to benefit from the Fundamentals of Photography course offered at It is a known fact that photographs are considered to be exceptionally dramatic messages and personal statements. Once a picture is taken, it has the potential to last for an exceptionally long time, even forever. Photographs have numerous abilities. Those taken the right way have the potential to capture emotions of those that view them, have the ability to transport a person mentally to a specific place or time in history, freeze certain memories and moments in time, and bring out the beauty of a person, place or thing. Throughout history, many photographs that have been taken have literally brought positive changes to the world. While it is true that amateur photography has the ability to accomplish all of this randomly, it is also true that individuals that elect to take a Digital Photography 101 course, such as the Fundamentals of Photography, have the ability to capture the true essence of a moment on a continuous basis. As a participant in the class, I would like to share my review of the Fundamentals of Photography course with you. This review is for those that are seasoned in photography and for those that are interested in getting started in photography.

What is Fundamentals of Photography?

In order to understand the benefits of this Digital Photography 101 course and appreciate the features of the program, it is important to learn a few basics about the course itself. This course is designed for both the new and advanced-level photographer. The individual that created the course has well over 30 years of experience in the field of photography. It includes 24 unique lectures that express how a photograph truly works and how you may take a photograph and transform them into a picture that will accomplish the goals that you have in mind. It is a course that shares the true secrets behind Digital Photography 101. It shares tips, techniques and steps that were once known only to the best of the best in the photography world. It explains how photography is more than simply taking pictures. It is a craft. It is an art. Once you take this Digital Photography 101 course, your mind will shift from seeing a photograph as a mere picture to seeing it as a well-designed artistic masterpiece. You will learn how to capture and/or create the perfect lighting for your shot, how to develop the perfect visual composition and how to create a thought-provoking perspective with every picture that you take. Fundamentals of Photography is more than just basic information. It steps outside the realm that so many photographers are in and teaches you how to become a master of your camera with high-quality, comprehensive steps and solutions.

The Features

There are numerous features associated with this Digital Photography 101 course that you will find highly appealing. I especially enjoyed the following:

• The course explains each of the features that are part of the camera and how you may use those features in order to maximize the images that you photograph. You will learn the importance of shutter speed, critical information pertaining to aperture, and how to appropriately adjust and maximize the potential of your lenses in order to capture moments and emotions.

• The Digital Photography 101 course explains - in detail - many of the tricks that are utilized by professional photographers. Examples include how to enhance details in low lighting on your subjects, how to create blur and motion effects, and how to bring out the power of your subject by adjusting the angle and lighting that you utilize.

• There are many types of photography that individuals enjoy taking. These include pictures of various landscapes, scenes from the wild, special events and occasions and people. This Digital Photography 101 course will teach you about each type of photography and how to correctly photograph each type.

• In the Fundamentals of Photography course, you will learn how to successfully research your picture before taking it, creating professional photo shoots and sessions, and how to create special works of art, such as photo essays.

• The Digital Photography 101 course is more than just a manual. When teaching you the skills and concepts that are necessary to be a successful photographer, it places you in the field so that you may acquire the hands-on experience that you need to be exceptionally successful in your photographic endeavors.

Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer

Weddings are busy, beautiful and yes, even stressful events. And in the hustle and bustle of everything that makes a wedding, well, a wedding, it's not hard to imagine that something might get missed. That's understandable, but you want to make sure that 'something' doesn't fall under the category of missed photographs. That is why one of the most important aspects of wedding planning needs to be the selection of your photographer. Remember... long after the cake has been eaten and the wedding dress is pushed to the back of the attic, you'll still be looking at your wedding pictures and remembering the joy of your special day.
Most wedding photographers have a check-list they go by; one the bride and groom are usually asked to fill out prior to the wedding. If not, make sure you provide the photographer with a list of what photos you want taken. If you are unsure of what you should include in that list, you can find photo check lists in bridal magazines and websites such as or Not using a checklist is asking for trouble... and missed photo ops you'll never have again. To avoid this unfortunate mishap, make a point to select someone (the bride's mom, a favorite aunt or sister in-law) who will be responsible for working with the photographer; a checks and balances system, you might say.

Owen and Melissa would have benefited greatly from doing so; things got so hectic that they ended up without a single shot of just the two of them! Thank goodness for cropping tools on photo sites!

Other tips to keep in mind when hiring your wedding photographer include:

  1. Examining their portfolio. Do you like their work? Are they creative? Is the lighting and exposure up to par?
  2. Ask for references-and follow up by contacting one or two of them.
  3. Remember that not all wedding photographers need to be 'professionals'. There are plenty of hobby photographers whose work is top quality and definitely wedding-worthy. Ask family and friends for suggestions, contact your local photography club or the photo-journalism department of a nearby college or university.
  4. Make sure the photographer fully explains what you are getting for your money. Are you getting full rights to the photos? How much time is included in the price? How long will it be before you receive your photos?
  5. Get it in writing. This includes receipts for payments made and a 'contract' for what you are receiving in return for your payment.
  6. Feel comfortable with the photographer. Do they listen to what you want?

Professional Interior and Architectural Photographer Shares Useful Lighting Techniques

The expectations and demands for high quality architectural photography has changed throughout the years and the architectural photographer must adjust his techniques, especially with respect to interior photography. Architecture is always evolving; to quote the great architect Louis Sullivan; "form follows function" and as new building materials, such as energy efficient UV glass, become more available, they can make more practical, the form and function of the architecture. Many architects, especially in the scenic Southwest, are now designing homes with expansive windows to visually bring the outside views of the landscape into the home, which although is very photographic, can also be challenging for an architectural photographer. This is especially true for architectural photography in very scenic areas where many high-end residences and buildings are being built amongst the natural environment. An architectural photographer and an interior photographer will have many situations which will demand, as a compositional element, the ability to capture both a well lit interior, along with the beautiful desert exterior view.

The best lighting technique for solving this problem is for the architectural photographer to use high-powered strobe lights to balance the exposure of the bright exterior to the interior; otherwise the outside landscape scene would be over exposed beyond recognition. The f-stop for the exposure is based off the strobe output and the shudder speed is determined by the proper exterior exposure; there is a point where one can keep just the right amount of ambient light and still maintain the exterior view by subtly finessing the shudder speed; it is usually more natural looking to keep as much interior ambient light as possible. It is also important to keep the exterior view lighter (1/2 - 1 stop over the inferior) so that it doesn't look unrealistic. If time or budget makes a full lighting set up impractical, fairly good results can also be achieved by using a few lower powered lights and more ambient, exposing for the interior and exterior separately, then masking and combining exposures in Photoshop. Try setting up only a few lights and light only part of the room, then move them around to light another part, until you get the lighting effect you are after - then combine the exposures in Photoshop. In any case, it is preferable to get the exterior view exposure as close as possible by balancing with strobe in order to simplify the masking process.

Another way to balance the interior exposure to the exterior light, is to photograph at a time of day when the exterior is relatively dark, or at least within the range of the exposure of the interior light. Depending on the situation, this may be when most of the exterior is in deep shadow, on a day that is overcast, or either very early or late in the day when the light is not too harsh. When photographing in the Southwest, it may be possible to achieve this balance in the afternoon during the monsoon season, when typically it clouds up for a few hours; plan your views accordingly. Many years ago, an interior photography lighting system, may have been comprised of continuous light sources; blue 250 -500 watt "daylight" flood lamps (which were rated at 4200K when new). These were put in lamps, recessed ceiling fixtures and simple reflectors. This technique produces a soft interior light that balanced fairly close to the color temperature of the daylight; however, one would have to utilize the proceeding exposure technique of shooting under the right conditions or time of day when the exterior light wasn't to bright if "blowing out" the exterior view was not acceptable.

Dating Old Photographs With Fashion

Accurately dating an old family photograph can be a difficult task. But with a little knowledge about what people wore throughout history, dating your photograph can become much easier. Clothing is a very good indication of when a photograph was taken. Here is an overview on past fashions to get you started in your research. Please note that it is much easier to date if there is a woman in the photo, as women's fashion changed much more dramatically than men's until the 20th century.

In the 1840s, women wore dresses with low, sloping shoulders and fitted sleeves. Waistlines were at a natural height and lowered to a point in front. Full skirts were made with many layers of underskirts. Their hair was often parted in the center with curls or braids at the ears.

Men wore tapered pants with stirrups. A cinched in waist and full chest was popular, as were standing collars. Relatively patterned fabric was more fashionable than it would be in later decades. They curled their hair and wore sideburns.

In the 1850s, women's skirts were full and often tiered. The cage crinoline appeared in 1856. Despite being an undergarment, its structure can often be seen under a skirt. The bell-shaped sleeve worn over cotton or linen under-sleeves was fashionable.

Stirrups in men's pants disappeared. A looser, thigh length coat called a sack coat was common. Coats were usually single-breasted. Men wore large mutton chop sideburns and moustaches. The bowler hat was introduced c.1850.

Early in the 1860s, tiered skirts disappeared. Skirts became their widest around 1863. By 1865 the fullness of the crinoline moved to the back. Then the volume moved up to behind the butt. Hair was worn close to the head with low buns and hair nets were fashionable.

How Parents Should Adjust for Modern Custom Photography

Time to address a big topic. "There's no point in doing a full photo session- my kid won't sit still for 2 minutes, let alone 2 hours." Has this thought crossed your mind? Wondering why professional photo session times are always so long? The truth is, 1.5-2hrs isn't long at all; it's just long compared to the 15-minute slots given at the big box picture studios. It's actually what's needed for even the best photographers to capture those sincere moments you want.

Kids are all so different and their personalities vary to the extremes. It takes time to connect with them, for them to warm-up to the camera pointed at his/her face, to be him/herself instead of showing off for the camera or shaking the "cheeeeeese" engraved in their heads. You can't expect genuine expression or interaction from a child when there's no time for him/her to adjust to the new location, person, and directions. In my own sessions, I purposefully plan segments of posing and play, giving close attention to reactions and responses of the children. If they're starting to get distracted by something, I put my camera down and we go check it out together. If they get fussy when lying on their belly, no problem, we'll try something else. If they're getting bored with an action or activity, we take a break and do something silly for a little while. These breaks are essential! They build trust, keep momentum positive, maintain a light and fun environment, and often create opportunity for the best and most authentic expressions.

Sometimes, parents unintentionally break the energy by prompting their kids to stop playing around or sit still. Understandably, they want to make sure they are not wasting time because Johnny digging in the sand isn't exactly what they imagined hanging on their wall. That's the awesome part about hiring a professional photographer, though. You've seen his/her work and loved it, you are paying for his/her time and talent, and they have done this multiple times with great results! You wouldn't go to a fancy restaurant and step into the kitchen to prepare the sauce for your pasta the way you do at home. (At least I hope not.) When you put something you value, be it a purchase, an experience, or a decision, into the hands of a professional, you have to trust them to do their job. The same principle applies to photographers as well! They make their decisions as far as sitting times, pricing, business policies, etc for a reason so trust that even if the process is different than what you've seen before, the end result will be way worth it!

Best Photography Books

Most people regard books as a good companion. Whether you're an adult or student, you can find interesting books to satisfy your needs. These informative books are able to fill your mind with ideas and at times completely transform your way of life. Whether it is adventure, action, romance, art or photography, you can find books with any topics.

Many people are passionate about photography. A few of the titles for the well-known photography books are How to Shoot Great Photographs; An Illustrated Step-by-Step Guide; The Digital Photography Handbook, just to name a few.

In most cases simple digital photography books can offer you a myriad of information that will help you to master this art, such as lighting effects and also how you can improve your images using both genuine and artificial lighting. You can find a wide variety of these books on the market to select from, but you have to determine whether or not you should rent from a library or purchase them.

These days, you can easily download these books from reputable websites. But before doing this, you should check the reviews and forums to see what other photographers have to say about these books. Forums will help you to solve problems, find discussions about specific equipments and also learn about where and when events are taking place.

The best photography books will be the ones which addresses everything about digital photography. A good photography book must take you step-by-step and show how you can capture the best shots at different angles. These days, the digital photography industry is becoming extremely popular. As a result, you can find even more photography books written and published in recent times.

These types of books also provide the users with essential details that will help to make the best decision when shopping. By reading those books, it is possible to determine easily the type of camera that would suit your style and also what components you should know about while purchasing a camera. It's also possible to find several specialized subjects such as digital night photography; digital infra-red photography; digital portrait photography; digital black and white photography, and so on.

What Is Microstock Photography? What Freelance Writers Need To Know About Microstock Photos

What is microstock photography?

Microstock photography is a subset of the stock photography industry and refers to royalty free images sold at very low prices (microstock photography is also called "micropayment photography"). Microstock companies source stock photos from a large volume of photographers, and are known for being very willing to accept submissions from amateur photographers.

Now that you know the generic definition, we can move on to the specifics freelance writers need to understand about this type of stock photography. Previously I've written about how to use professional stock photographs to help you successfully pitch and sell editors and clients. Notice the word "professional" in that sentence.

There are some professional photographers who go as far as saying the microstock business is devaluing the entire profession of photography. That is a bit dramatic, but just as successful freelance writers can quickly tell the difference between cheaply written content and quality copy from a professional the same is true for stock photography.

With the benefit of being able to get cheap stock photographs can come the tacky look of an unprofessional image. As a freelance writer it is important to remember that everything you turn in to an editor or client is a representation of you. If you provide an editor with superior content next to cheap, generic photographs your entire body of work has just become less impressive.

This is not meant to come across as a strike against all microstock photography. There are some quality microstock photos shot by very experienced photographers. This is just a heeding to make sure the quality of the stock photos you purchase match the high quality of your writing. Ideally you would be able to utilize high quality, professional (and affordable!) stock photos to improve the overall "package" you create for an editor or client.

The other thing to consider is the value of your time. Usually you're using a stock photograph to save you the time and expense of creating (or hiring a professional photographer to create) custom photographs to accompany your writing project. Due to the large amount of microstock photos usually on microstock websites, you can end up spending just as long (or longer) wading through hundreds of lesser photographs (more photo options can be both a positive and negative) before finding the professional, technical quality you feel confident showcasing next to your copy.