Studio Zee Photography – Dubai UAE http://www.studio-zee.com Studio Zee Photography - Dubai UAE - Specialised for commercial photography, Interior, corporate, advertisement, events, family Wed, 26 Jul 2017 03:41:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 http://www.studio-zee.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/cropped-SZ-LOGO-TRANSPARENT-32x32.png Studio Zee Photography – Dubai UAE http://www.studio-zee.com 32 32 73295160 UV Filter Pros and Cons for Photographers http://www.studio-zee.com/uv-filter-pros-and-cons-for-photographers/ Wed, 26 Jul 2017 03:41:51 +0000 https://www.studio-zee.com/uv-filter-pros-and-cons-for-photographers/ The use of UV and clear filters is a hotly debated topic in photography. In the case of film photography, it’s absolutely imperative that you use a UV filter, because film is extremely sensitive to UV rays. But if you’re using a digital camera, is it so important? Phil Steele shares his insight: The question […]

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The use of UV and clear filters is a hotly debated topic in photography. In the case of film photography, it’s absolutely imperative that you use a UV filter, because film is extremely sensitive to UV rays. But if you’re using a digital camera, is it so important? Phil Steele shares his insight:

The question seems to be whether you should get a lens filter for the sake of protecting the delicate front element of your lens. In that regard, either a clear filter or a UV filter will do a good job.

should you use a filter on your lens

The bigger question, however, is quality. If you do choose to use a filter, you should get yourself one that’s of optically great quality. A quality filter is not just any piece of glass. It’s built with optically pure glass, which is very expensive. Plus, it has special coatings applied to it.

These special coatings suppress chromatic aberration as well as prevent UV light from affecting your images. The quality of the glass will also mean better prevention against scratches and dents—security for your expensive lens.

As such, between a UV and a clear filter, it doesn’t really matter which one you get, as long as the quality of the filter is good. The rule of thumb is to spend about 10 percent of the price of your lens on the filter that sits in front of it.

uv filters

Arguments Against UV Filters

An argument against using a filter (clear or UV) is that your lens was not designed to work with another piece of glass sitting in front of it. A filter is likely to affect the performance of an optically superior lens.

Arguments for UV Filters

A high quality filter isn’t going to make much of a difference in the quality of images. But it will make a huge difference if your lens gets a knock where it is most vulnerable, potentially saving you from hundreds of dollars in losses.

But the strongest argument in favor of using a filter seems to be that over a period of time, as you keep using a lens and keep cleaning it, you’re going to give it micro-abrasions (scratches). As they get deeper and deeper over time, they will affect the quality of your images.

burning man uv filter

And not just scratches. If you’re an outdoor photographer doing landscape, street, or any other type of photography, you constantly expose your expensive lenses to chemicals or elements that can be potentially lethal for these delicate tools. Having a filter is like wearing protective goggles.

When You Don’t Need a Filter

If you already have a filter on your lens, there’s point of mounting another one. Stacking several pieces of glass unnecessarily puts the quality of your images at risk and possibly induces unwanted flares. Plus, if the stack is a bit too thick it might introduce some amount of vignetting in the corners. A filter is also undesirable when you’re shooting directly against the sun. This can cause lens flare.

The kind of photography that you do also determines whether you should use a filter. If you’re constantly shooting in dusty environments, or shooting in the midst of people, you need a filter. On the other hand, if you’re usually shooting in clean, pristine conditions, you probably don’t need a UV filter.

Sounds pretty straight forward, right? So why is there such a heated debate on this filter versus no filter topic?

We Currently Have a Deal on One of Phil’s Courses:

Taking headshots and portraits can be a surprisingly good career or side-gig for photographers looking to earn extra revenue. This popular training course is designed to help you take professional headshots and and portraits using simply a DSLR and basic flash – you don’t need big studio equipment to get to work. We were able to negotiate a 30% discount for our readers which ends soon!

headshots and portraits course

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By the time you finish this training course, you’ll know exactly what to buy and exactly what to do to start creating professional-looking headshots portraits for your clients right away.

Deal found here: The Headshots Portraits Course for Photographers at 30% Off

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New: 31 Days to Becoming a Better Photographer http://www.studio-zee.com/new-31-days-to-becoming-a-better-photographer/ Wed, 26 Jul 2017 03:41:48 +0000 https://www.studio-zee.com/new-31-days-to-becoming-a-better-photographer/ Finally, a practical photography course to take you from zero to photography hero in 31 days. Released today, this new step by step online course will teach you everything you need to know to take stunning pictures like the ones shown below. It is currently 75% off for the launch sale which ends soon. Launch […]

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Finally, a practical photography course to take you from zero to photography hero in 31 days. Released today, this new step by step online course will teach you everything you need to know to take stunning pictures like the ones shown below. It is currently 75% off for the launch sale which ends soon. Launch sale here: 31 Days to Becoming a Better Photographer

better photographer course

Released today: 31 Days to Becoming a Better Photographer (Click to Learn More)

We all want to take stunning photos like you see in galleries or magazines and other places. But the question is: how do you get there? How do you learn the skills and master the techniques to take amazing photos?

Professional photography instructor Jim Hamel has recorded 31 practical lessons in video format, that you can watch online, whenever suits you.

You can binge watch all 31 lessons, or take it a day at a time, it’s totally up to you and how fast or slow you want to go as you receive lifetime access to the photography training videos.

Plus you’ll have 3 months access to a closed Facebook Group so you can ask Jim anything you need to help you progress through the training and participate in assignments so you put your learning into practice.

Some of the Many Subjects Covered in the Course:

  • Exposure
  • Lighting
  • Subjects
  • Composition
  • Camera Techniques
  • Post Processing Software

Help through the whole photography process

This course will also be interactive…

  • Practicing the techniques you learn by taking your own photos along the way
  • Interact with other people who are also going through the course
  • Share your progress
  • Ask Jim questions you have about any of the lessons.

They have broken this course up into 31 high quality video tutorials that keeps everything nice and simple. And at the end of each one you’ll have an assignment to help you retain the knowledge.

This is something designed to put this course to work for you in your photography so you can master these techniques one step at a time and you’ll actually be having fun creating something, rather than staring at a computer screen all day.

better photography course

One of the photos from the course (click to see more)

You’ll enjoy learning the new techniques each day and have the motivation to actually get out there and do some shooting.

How to Get a Discount During the Launch Sale:

The course is currently 75% off for the launch sale which ends soon (just $49 down from $199). It also carries a 60 day happiness guarantee, if you are not satisfied with any part of the course simply let them know for a full refund – so there’s no risk in trying it.

Launch sale started here: 31 Days to Becoming a Better Photographer

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How to Book Photography Clients You Actually Want to Work With http://www.studio-zee.com/how-to-book-photography-clients-you-actually-want-to-work-with/ Tue, 25 Jul 2017 03:31:51 +0000 http://www.studio-zee.com/how-to-book-photography-clients-you-actually-want-to-work-with/ It’s one thing to work on paid gigs and make a decent amount of money and quite another thing to actually work with your dream clients. Mango Street has a three-pronged suggestion if you want to take the next step forward and start pitching to the clients you really want to work with: Styled Shoots […]

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It’s one thing to work on paid gigs and make a decent amount of money and quite another thing to actually work with your dream clients. Mango Street has a three-pronged suggestion if you want to take the next step forward and start pitching to the clients you really want to work with:

Styled Shoots

Paid gigs are great for contributing to the cash flow of a business. But they aren’t always the assignments where you can show your full creativity.

how to get your dream clients

Take the risk and invest in some time and money to do some styled shoots. Styled shoots are similar to paid gigs except here you have complete control over every aspect of the shoot. These styled shoots will help you build a strong portfolio for yourself. The kind of portfolio that will help you pitch for work that you love doing.

Portfolio

Be selective about what you put in your portfolio.

building your portfolio

Your portfolio isn’t merely a snapshot of the work you’ve done in the past; it’s a sort of wish-list of the type of work that you want to do. Be choosy. Only represent work that you take a lot of pride in and want to do more of. Leave everything else out.

“The key to transitioning into only shooting what you want is only showing what you want.”

You may have to create pages for work that you do for other clients. These need not be shown to all your prospective clients.

Spec Work and Cold Emailing

Be creative in your cold emailing approach. Instead of using words and vanilla graphics, try something new. Mango Street suggests selecting a number of medium sized enterprises that aren’t effectively using Instagram. Then shoot 6 to 9 photos of their products.

how to spec and cold-email

Arrange these photos on a screenshot of their Instagram profile and send these to the clients to show what it could potentially look like.

This is a lot of work, indeed. But it’s a much better pitch than a standard cold email. You could also pitch directly to social media managers of brands that you want to work with and offer to create content for the brands they manage.

What other approaches have worked for you?

For further training: Headshots Portraits Course at 30% Off

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The Photography Filters Cheat Sheet http://www.studio-zee.com/the-photography-filters-cheat-sheet/ Tue, 25 Jul 2017 03:31:49 +0000 http://www.studio-zee.com/the-photography-filters-cheat-sheet/ Think photography filters are a thing of the past? Think again! Just because you can edit in Photoshop your photos doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from some tweaks in-camera. This handy infographic from Zippi shows you how to use photo filters effectively to improve your images and get the results you want: The Photography Filters […]

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Think photography filters are a thing of the past? Think again! Just because you can edit in Photoshop your photos doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from some tweaks in-camera. This handy infographic from Zippi shows you how to use photo filters effectively to improve your images and get the results you want:

photography filters cheat sheet

The Photography Filters Cheat Sheet (Via Zippi. Click image to see full size.)

Not only can filters make your photos look better, they can save you time in post-processing, too!

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Portrait Photography Tips http://www.studio-zee.com/portrait-photography-tips/ Tue, 25 Jul 2017 03:31:47 +0000 http://www.studio-zee.com/portrait-photography-tips/ Portraiture can be very rewarding. It’s a chance to show the best side (literally) of someone, and create a photo that communicates something unique. photo by Vesna Pukich Look at your subject This sounds obvious but take a browse through all the shots you have of your family and friends and see if they don’t […]

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Portraiture can be very rewarding. It’s a chance to show the best side (literally) of someone, and create a photo that communicates something unique.

subject's best side

photo by Vesna Pukich

Look at your subject

This sounds obvious but take a browse through all the shots you have of your family and friends and see if they don’t have a sameness about them. Head and shoulders, passport photos, awkward poses, uncomfortable expressions, blank looks, embarrassed smiles?

Each person has some unique quality that deserves photographing. It doesn’t have to be perfect skin, a remodeled nose, pouting mouth, stunning eyes. But it should be some quality that best communicates the person’s individuality.

Sound daunting? It isn’t if you follow some basic tips.

Don’t use direct flash

Flash is light at its most boring. On rare occasions it can really lift a shot into dazzling life, but most of the time using available light is better. Flash tends to give a bland look and the fact of the flash going off takes away any intimate atmosphere you may have created.

Use a telephoto lens

In my opinion, 105–135mm is best. Wide angle is a big no-no.

portrait lens choice

photo by Matt Wiebe

Pick the person’s “best side”

People really do have one. Get one shoulder turned towards the camera so one side is favored a little. Try the pose the other way and figure out which is best.

Dress your subject up if possible

If this is a semi-formal portrait you can have some say in the clothes. Solid, dark or light colors work best. Stripes checks, swirls, and patterns confuse the viewer’s eye. Bold colors can overwhelm the skin tones. A vee or scoop neck is better than a round neck. For a man or older woman, cover the shoulders, for a young woman leave them bare.

Try to use the available light to good effect

Position the person where the light is soft and coming mainly from one direction. This can give a moody feel and usually gets the eyes more attention.

You can use a reflector on the shadowed side to bounce the light if the contrast between highlight and shadow is too strong. You can make a simple reflector using aluminum foil on a sheet of cardboard.

Let the person sit down

This helps them to relax and helps you to be able to direct them more easily.

vertical composition

photo by Chris Hobcroft

Direct the person

In portraiture, you’re dealing with minor movements and shifts of position and angle. Try to shoot slightly above the person to make the eyes open more. Lower the shoulder closest to the camera, get the head straight or at an engaging angle. Lower the chin a little.

Some people look best when they smile and some don’t. You can get more interesting expressions and nuances without a smile. Tell the person to think of something they like doing. This will bring up subtle lights in the eyes and shifts in the mouth lines.

Compose vertically

Turn the camera on its side. A portrait usually includes the head and upper torso and sometimes the hands. These work best in a vertical format. Horizontal framing leaves you with wide open spaces either side of the subject that can detract from the feel of the shot.

If hands are in the shot, take a good look at them

Hands can look ugly or awkward. A lightly closed fist is usually neutral. Let the hands rest on a knee or in the lap and see what you have. Crop them out later if they don’t work.

If you’re shooting candid portraits the same tips apply but in these shots you have to move around to get the best angle.

photographing hands

photo by fiction of reality

About the Author
Lance is not very good at writing about himself in the third person. He is an ex-patriot Australian living in Taiwan running a business consulting company. He writes about Portrait Photography Tips. His grasp of the Chinese language ranges from poor to laughable and in most circumstances his actual use of the Chinese language results in laughter.

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Tips for Better Flower Photography http://www.studio-zee.com/tips-for-better-flower-photography/ Mon, 24 Jul 2017 03:13:12 +0000 http://www.studio-zee.com/tips-for-better-flower-photography/ Flowers are naturally beautiful, and easy to find in the warmer months of the year, and so make a great subject for a photo. This article covers the top tips to get great photos when photographing flowers in their natural surroundings. “Poppies” captured by PictureSocial member Gregg Lowrimore Choose interesting angles If you want your […]

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Flowers are naturally beautiful, and easy to find in the warmer months of the year, and so make a great subject for a photo. This article covers the top tips to get great photos when photographing flowers in their natural surroundings.

flower photo tips

“Poppies” captured by PictureSocial member Gregg Lowrimore

Choose interesting angles

If you want your flower photos to stand out from the crowd, try taking photos from unusual angles, such as looking up.

Generally when taking natural flower photos, you will want to take the photo at slightly above eye level with the flower, ensuring that the centre of the flower can be seen. This will mean crouching down, or for smaller flowers getting the camera right down at ground level.

When photographing flowers at ground level you may need to flatten or remove blades of grass or leaves that would otherwise be in the way between the camera and the flower.

Use natural light and a tripod if needed

For taking photos of flowers in their natural environment you will be best using natural light, and not flash. Natural light will generally give less harsh shadows, and should also ensure that the background behind the flower is lit well.

The best time of the day for photographing flowers is early morning or late afternoon, where the light will be warmer and less harsh than it gets later in the day. The wind is also generally lower at the start and end of the day, meaning you are less likely to get the flower blowing about while you try and take photos of it.

Depending on how well your flower is lit (e.g. if you’re shooting a bluebell in woodland then it’s probably relatively dark), then you may need to use a tripod to stabilise the camera. When placing the tripod try to be careful not squash other nearby flowers and not to knock the flower you are wanting to photograph. You don’t want to find the perfect flower and then knock all its petals off while trying to position your tripod!

photographing flowers

“inflorescence” captured by PictureSocial member Raluca Mateescu

For taking photos of flowers during the daytime, try shooting when there is hazy cloud, as the cloud helps diffuse the sunlight. This makes the shadows less harsh and produces a more pleasing photo.

Use a diffuser to diffuse harsh light

If you’re trying to photograph a flower under bright daylight, you can use a diffuser to soften the light, and reduce harsh shadows / highlights on the flower. A diffuser is just a thin piece of material or paper that spreads harsh direct light out over a larger area.

You can buy commercially produced diffusers, or make your own. You need some white translucent material, like a plastic bag, tissue paper, or an old T-shirt. Stretch the material over a frame (an old coat hanger bent into a diamond shape works well), and attach it securely.

When photographing the flower, hold the diffuser between the sun and the flower. You should immediately see the reduction in harsh shadows and highlights on the flower.

Landscape style flower photography

When you find a large area covered with flowers, you’ll probably want to take a photo of the whole scene. The same rules as standard landscape photography apply here. Try and include some foreground, middle-ground, and background to create a sense of depth and scale. Try and use leading lines and the rule of thirds when composing the photo too.

flower landscape photography

Photo captured by PictureSocial member Donaldas Urniezius

If it is windy, make sure you set the camera to use a fast enough shutter speed to avoid the flowers coming out blurry.

Dew covered petals

Flowers covered in early morning dew make an attractive photo, but if you missed the early morning, or there wasn’t any dew, you can create your own. If you have a misting bottle or spray bottle, you can use this to create a false dew on the flower.

Flowers are a popular subject for photographs, but how can you take good photos that really show off the beauty of a flower? Continuing on from part 1, this article covers several more tips to help you take amazing flower photos. The tips cover photographing flowers in their natural surroundings, rather than photographing flowers in a vase or a flower arrangement, which is quite a different affair.

Use a reflector or flash to fill in shadows and help light the flower

If you are photographing a flower where the front of the flower isn’t directly lit by sunlight, you can use a reflector or a small amount of fill-flash to help light the flower. You can purchase commercially made reflectors, or make your own by sticking a large sheet of kitchen foil to a piece of cardboard.

Place the reflector so that it reflects light back onto the flower. As well as helping to light the flower, since the light will be reflected from a different direction to the main light, it can help fill in harsh shadows on the flower.

flower pictures

“empire of the sun” captured by PictureSocial member Radu Stanescu

As an alternative to a reflector, or in addition, you may also consider using fill-flash to help light the flower and fill in dark shadows. Make sure you have your flash set at low power, as you only want the flash to contribute a small amount of light to the scene, not become the main light source.

Get in close

If your camera has a macro mode, or you have a DSLR with a macro lens, try getting in close and filling the frame with the flower. And then try getting even closer to isolate just part of the flower. You can find some great abstract compositions when focusing on only a very small part of a flower.

When taking close-ups or macro photographs of flowers, you may need to use flash or long shutter speeds to illuminate the flower. At these very close distances, flash will usually appear relatively soft, and more like natural light.

Prevent the wind from ruining your photo

A big problem when taking photos of flowers is that they blow about in the wind. This can cause problems in composing your photo if the flower is constantly moving about. And it will also result in a blurry photo if your shutter speed is not high enough to freeze the motion of the flower.

One thing you can do is to set up a wind break between the flower and the wind. You don’t need to lug a full size wind break around with you though. If you have a tripod and diffuser or reflector with you, you can place the tripod between the flower and the wind, and then rest the diffuser or reflector up against the tripod’s legs. So long as you’re not photographing a tall flower, this should act as a decent windbreak.

Another thing you can do is to secure the flower using an accessory known as a plamp (short for plant clamp). This is a small bendable arm with clamps on both ends. One end clamps to your tripod leg, and the other end clamps onto the flower. This stops the flower blowing about in the wind.

Use backlighting to your advantage

The large majority of flowers have relatively thin petals, and so can make a great photo when backlit. The light shines through the petals, giving them quite a different look to a standard photo.

Look at the flower condition and remove any distractions

There are exceptions to everything, but in the large majority of cases, a photo of an undamaged flower will look nicer than that of a damaged one. If you are in an area with lots of the same flowers, take your time to look at a few of the flowers and try to find the one that is in the best condition.

techniques for flower photography

“Indian Paintbrush” captured by PictureSocial member Dennis Behm

Pay attention also to what is surrounding the flower, and try to avoid including other elements (such as a random blade of grass) that distract from the flower. Sometimes you may be able to change the angle you are photographing at to remove the distracting elements.

Other times you may need to squash down or remove the distracting elements. If you are photographing outside of your garden, be careful what you are removing though.

Isolate the flower from its surroundings

Set your camera / lens to use a large aperture (e.g. f/2.8) when photographing the flower to help throw the background out of focus. If the space permits, also try using a lens with a longer focal length or zooming in on your camera, and taking the photo from further away. This change in perspective helps to isolate the flower from the rest of the scene.

About the Author:
Dave Kennard previously operated a site at discoverdigitalphotography covering all aspects of photography, from landscape photography to portrait photography.

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How to Photograph a Bottle of Wine http://www.studio-zee.com/how-to-photograph-a-bottle-of-wine/ Mon, 24 Jul 2017 03:13:10 +0000 http://www.studio-zee.com/how-to-photograph-a-bottle-of-wine/ Photographing a bottle of wine is all about a shot that accentuates the product and makes it look enticing. The setup doesn’t have to be complicated. You can very well use bits and pieces to compose each aspect of the shot. As long as you have a set of workable frames you can bring them […]

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Photographing a bottle of wine is all about a shot that accentuates the product and makes it look enticing. The setup doesn’t have to be complicated. You can very well use bits and pieces to compose each aspect of the shot. As long as you have a set of workable frames you can bring them into post and produce the final perfect image. Dustin Dolby shares his minimal approach to photographing wine using speedlights:

There are a lot of limitations in this shoot. The working space is small and there are only two lights and both of them are speedlights. Even the lens Dolby used was just a kit lens. Yet, as the final image shows, the results are near perfect.

how to photograph wine bottles

Dolby used a piece of black Plexiglass to create beautiful surface reflections. Using Plexiglass saves you time in post.

The first piece of editing is taking care of the distracting elements on both sides of the frame. The minimalist background is adjusted easily in post by making a selection and then dragging it out to the sides.

The camera is set up to look up at the bottle of wine and the glass. The oval line at the top of the glass gives more depth to the image because of this. This comparison explains better:

how to photograph wines with speedlights

With the higher angle (right) the glass looks flatter and the image isn’t as inviting as the first (left) one.

Dolby set the key light up on camera left and fired through a diffuser. That left a bit of dramatic light fall off from left to right of the bottle. To fill in some of the shadows, he used a reflector on camera right. This helped to lift some of the shadows.

tips to photograph wine

In order to bring up the background, he set up a second speedlight, aiming at the background at a 45 degree angle and set at 1/64 power. The idea was to create a subtle change in the exposure of the background. Here is a before and after comparison:

photographing wine bottles

before (left) vs. after (right)

The background gradient is more distinct and the wine label looks better. There is also a distinct gradient play on the wine bottle as you move from left to right.

The final adjustment was to get some more light at the top of the bottle near the cap:

wine bottle product photography

Ideally, you should also get a shot of just the glass.

studio product lighting tips

This is to ensure that a beautiful gradient of the glass is also captured for use in the final image.

tips for photographing wine

Final Image

The swirling wine in the glass required one more frame, and it was blended into the final image during post.

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How to Approach & Photograph Strangers in Other Countries for Travel Photography http://www.studio-zee.com/how-to-approach-photograph-strangers-in-other-countries-for-travel-photography/ Mon, 24 Jul 2017 03:13:08 +0000 http://www.studio-zee.com/how-to-approach-photograph-strangers-in-other-countries-for-travel-photography/ I’ve wanted to write something on this topic for ages. To be honest, this is probably the question that comes back most from my students: how should I approach people to take their photos? For most people traveling here, and to be more precise, for most Westerners traveling in Southeast Asia, taking photos of people […]

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I’ve wanted to write something on this topic for ages. To be honest, this is probably the question that comes back most from my students: how should I approach people to take their photos?

For most people traveling here, and to be more precise, for most Westerners traveling in Southeast Asia, taking photos of people feels like intruding into their private lives. When your photographic tutor tells you to keep getting close, it may feel uncomfortable to approach locals one does not know. Well, I have few answers for you.

Vietnam (2)

Please note that in this article we are talking about travel photography focused on people and Southeast Asia. For street photography in New York City, different tips are applied, including getting a good lawyer!

First, when people tell me they do not want to intrude and enter people’s private spaces, this is said and thought from a Westerner’s perspective. Things in some parts of the world, including Southeast Asia, are different. Indeed, private space is very different here compared to in the US, for example. Here, leave the door of your house open and neighbors will start coming in to borrow chili, pinch your kids’ cheeks, or just see what is going on. People will hug you and walk with you after they have known you only ten minutes. And for those traveling to Vietnam, after one minute the first questions to come are often: “Where are you from? How old are you? Are you married? Do you have kids? Do you make a lot of money?” Privacy does not mean the same thing to all cultures.

burma,myanmar,Bagan

How does one actually get close to people?

Well, it is all about the photographer’s attitude toward the subject(s). Let’s say I am eating snails on my terrace in Paris on a Sunday afternoon (as all French people do on Sunday afternoon) and this foreign guy comes in and looks at what I am doing. First I think, “What the hell is this guy doing?” But this guy, obviously not French based on his accent and poor French language skills, comes and talks to me. He looks very excited and eager to ask me about what I am eating. He manages to speak a little French and asks if these are snails. He tells me he’s heard about this French tradition but has never actually tried. Of course I offer him one to try, and he does try it, looking very satisfy when he finally tastes one of the most famous French culinary treats (guys, I am French and I’ve eaten snail just three times in my life–this is not something we have for breakfast!). He seems very happy and gives me a thumbs up, with a big smile, and asks where he can buy some.

Then I think, “Wow, this guy is cool! He is ready to try this disgusting looking dish and seems to like it. He is pretty open minded to be doing such a thing. And he makes me smile with all his thumbs ups and bad accent.” So when that guy lifts a camera up and signals to me that he wants to take a photo to remember this moment, I say sure! We have had a good time discussing snails and watching his weird face when swallowing his first snail. “And you know what? If you can send me the photo as well, I would love it!”

Not sure this snail related example is what works best here, but I am trying to show you that it is about the photographer’s attitude, and only about that. I have made people smile and laugh and taken photos of people who at first seemed to wish to kill me.

travel-photographer

But this takes a lot of energy and time. You do not always have the luxury of time when traveling (2 days here, 3 days there, “quick, quick I need to visit everything which is in the Lonely Planet!”). Yes, taking photos of people takes time, unless you walk up to people, snap a shot, and walk away. But that can cause misunderstandings easily.

When I finish a photography workshop in Hoi An for example, I know that it was good and I probably have some good shots when my jaws hurt from over-smiling for hours. Vietnam is easier for me, as I can speak the language. I get into a conversation with people right after meeting them, and it often startles the locals when this foreign guy comes to them and asks them how many children they have in their own language. But wherever you go, it works the same.

Just Three Words

Learn the basics of a language. And when I say basics I mean learn three words: hello, beautiful, and thank you. Say hello, at least. (I meet a lot of people who have been traveling in Vietnam for over a week and still do not know how to say hello!) Try to communicate with the people using your hands and a smile. The smile is everything. Get interested and curious about them, what they are doing, things surrounding them.

Once the contact has been made and there is a good feeling going on, maybe it is time to take the camera up. You do not need to ask to take a photo; you have been talking to them for ten minutes with a camera as big as their pet dog in your hands–they know where you are going to do. Once you have snapped a photo, show them and say “beautiful” in their own language. You’ll usually end up with ten people around you laughing and talking about how their neighbors look in a photo. Then it is time to say “thank you”.

The ice man

That is a thing one needs to realize when traveling: for people living in developing countries, it in not obvious what we are doing with our photos. People who have never been out of their villages may see cameras as something used by the army to document the population of a country. People just do not know we love taking photos because we love it! So one needs to make this clear, explaining we love them because we think they are beautiful.

I have been watching a lot what goes on when we go on a photo excursion. What is sure is that “Hello, can I take your picture?” never ever works. People either do not speak English, so they don’t understand and walk away, or you are in an area with a lot of tourists and they will think “please not again!” and walk away.

I hear “photo one dollar” a lot in Hoi An. But when the light is perfect and I spot a great wall to use as a background, I say, “Fine, but come here. Walk in front of that wall, and look in that direction!” It will cost me $1 to get a great postcard (my own, not a 20 year old photo they sell all over the country). Great deal!

travel-portrait2

And when I come back to any location I have been before, I print the photos of people I have taken and give them. You cannot imagine all the doors it opens to you, people then queue to have their photo taken. Just start the queue line where the light is best!

To make it easier for you, try and find an area with a lot of activity going on. If people are busy doing their things, they will not care about you being around and snapping photos. Also, I usually tell my students that when not comfortable approaching people, start with kids: they are patient, easy, and love having their photo taken!

Once again, approaching people and having them open up to you is all about your attitude. It takes a lot of energy and smiles, but everyone can get there. I have met some photographers who, the more they realized they struggled to take photos of people, the more they got grumpy about not getting the shot. This made people around feel they did not want to have their photo taken by this unfriendly, unsmiling man.

Vietnam (12)

I found this to be the best way for me to decompress and relax from the hassles of life. When in a village, getting into people’s houses, chatting with kids, and trying to get the best shot, I forget all the world around me, and I enjoy the simple things life has given me.

About the Author:
I am Etienne Bossot and I am delighted to take you on an amazing journey through stunning locations in South East Asia, while sharing my passion for photography. For the past 4 years I have been teaching to thousands of people, having any kind of photographic levels. I am also a commercial and wedding photographer in South East Asia.

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How to Pose People Who Aren’t Models http://www.studio-zee.com/how-to-pose-people-who-arent-models/ Sun, 23 Jul 2017 03:07:44 +0000 http://www.studio-zee.com/how-to-pose-people-who-arent-models/ If you’re a portrait photographer, you can probably relate to the challenge of posing friends or family—anybody who isn’t a model—and capturing images both they and you would be proud of. Most people aren’t aware of posing techniques in general and aren’t too confident facing the camera. But there are a few tips and tricks […]

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If you’re a portrait photographer, you can probably relate to the challenge of posing friends or family—anybody who isn’t a model—and capturing images both they and you would be proud of. Most people aren’t aware of posing techniques in general and aren’t too confident facing the camera. But there are a few tips and tricks than can help you pose and direct your subjects. Mango Street explains:

Use Straight Lines and S-Curves

But before we delve any deeper here is a recap of a few pointers that were shared by the Mango Street in a previous video:

  • Straight lines provoke feelings of brashness and masculinity
  • S-curves provoke feelings of softness and femininity

how to pose friends who are not models

In short, depending on the mood and the tone of the photograph you can incorporate either of the above poses.

Direct Rather Than Pose

direct don't pose for portraits

According to Mango Street, directing, rather than posing, is a better way to get emotions out. But even then too much directing might kill the image. After the initial directions, don’t tell your subject where to keep her hands and such. Instead, let them play out an emotion. Say something funny for an immediate emotional response.

As the photographer, you need to have a story in your head depending on the mood that you want to capture. That story when spoken to the subject will likely give you that emotion you need for your image.

Capture Motion

posing non-models

Believe it or not, motion can create natural looking images. Give your subject something to do in the shoot. Something as simple as a shake of her head or just taking a few paces. Capturing the photo in the middle of the action brings in interest and life.

What other posing techniques work for you?

For further training: Headshots Portraits Course at 30% Off

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Time-lapse Photography: Full Tutorial on Each Step of the Process http://www.studio-zee.com/time-lapse-photography-full-tutorial-on-each-step-of-the-process/ Sat, 22 Jul 2017 02:40:48 +0000 https://www.studio-zee.com/time-lapse-photography-full-tutorial-on-each-step-of-the-process/ With so many timelapse videos floating around the internet recently, you may be looking to create your own timelapse. Well look no further than Nathaniel Dodson‘s latest project Philly Is Ugly. Not only did Dodson spend months creating a beautiful timelpase of the city of Philadelphia, but he also took the time to create several […]

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With so many timelapse videos floating around the internet recently, you may be looking to create your own timelapse. Well look no further than Nathaniel Dodson‘s latest project Philly Is Ugly. Not only did Dodson spend months creating a beautiful timelpase of the city of Philadelphia, but he also took the time to create several tutorials showing the things he learned throughout the project:

The first thing Dodson discusses is the inspiration and planning that went into creating his timelapse. The idea, he says, just popped into his head. But he had never done a timelapse before so he started doing research on the subject by watching other timelapses and videos on technique. As you can see, Dodson’s video turned out pretty well for someone without any prior experience filming a timelapse:

Next, Dodson discusses framing his shots, choosing the correct settings for his camera, and using the intervalometer. If the technical aspects of capturing a timelapse are a bit confusing to you, check out this video:

The next four videos are all about post-processing and how to create your timelapse using certain software. This first one focuses on the basics of setting up your video size, frame rate, and importing your images:

Fixing color tone and making other small edits is basically the same as editing a still image. The only difference is that you will need to go through every set of images and edit one frame from each and apply the changes to all the photos in the set. Dodson shows you what tweaks and edits are most beneficial for creating a good looking timelapse:

Shooting scenes at sunrise or sunset when the light is changing dramatically and quickly can be tricky. In this video, Dodson discusses how he uses bulb ramping and how he uses post-production techniques to help keep the exposure of his shots consistent:

Perhaps one of the lesser discussed portions of creating a timelapse is rendering and exporting your series of images into their final video form (Via Fstoppers). This video covers how to create a series of video clips that you can move and edit in your timelapse:

If you haven’t gotten a good idea of the scope of creating a timelapse yet, this infographic will help you get a grasp on the immense amount of time and dedication that it takes to create one. Here are some stats from the Philly Is Ugly project:

philly is ugly infographic

Infographic on the amount of time and equipment it required to produce Philly is Ugly (Via endyphoto.com)

For Further Training on Timelapse Photography:

There is a COMPLETE guide (146 pages) to shooting, processing and rendering time-lapses using a dslr camera. It can be found here: The Timelapse Photography Guide

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