Category: Photography Guides

Landscape Photography Tips

25+ Landscape Photography Tips from Pro Photographers

25+ Landscape Photography Tips from Pro Photographers

As a beginner photographer, or even as an experienced veteran, capturing a truly unique and awe-inspiring landscape photo can take a lot of time, skill, and practice. With the millions of landscape photos popping up on Instagram every day, landscape photography is one of the most popular genres and it can be tough to stand out.

That’s why we reached out to over 25 professional photographers to get their take on how to capture better photos. We asked them:

“What’s the number one tip you can give aspiring (or even more advanced) photographers to improve their landscape photography skills and/or capture more professional/creative shots?”

We received some amazing responses encompassing a variety of techniques such as properly preparing for the shoot, choosing the right gear, finding the perfect location, utilizing your senses, and more.

This article lists their answers in detail to help you improve your landscape photography skills!

We’ve broken their responses down by sections, so you can read their answers from start to finish, or “jump” to the section you’re most interested in:

Have a Plan & Be Prepared

I have spent the last 10 years traveling the world in search of the most beautiful landscapes. The most important lesson that I have learned is not necessarily where I am going but how I approach the landscape.

1. Find the landscape

The whole world is full of landscape, it’s what the globe is made up of. There are some that are absolutely stunning and others that are completely cluttered and uninteresting. When searching for a landscape, begin looking in your own backyard. What I mean by that is see what natural features are around you.

When I first started in photography I thought I had to go to the other side of the world in order to find beauty. Now that I look back, I have found the most beauty in places as close as Big Sur, the Utah Desert, and the Pacific Northwest, so no matter where you are you can find beauty. Look for waterfalls, peaks, rivers, pristine lakes, jagged cliffs, deep canyons, vast deserts, etc.

2. Create a shot list

Once you have a location, begin to concept how you want to capture it. I do lots of research on 500px to find out how others have captured similar landscapes. I look for what others have shot…not to copy them but to in a way collaborate and to see what inspiration I can add to my vision.

When you are planning, think of new or different ways to capture your landscape. Try to concept a shot that is unique or ironic. Don’t be afraid to test something out or make mistakes. The way I see it, it’s better to take 30 different shots and have five turn out killer than just stick to the two shots you know will look good. If you feel outside of your comfort zone, then you’re in a good place!

3. Preparation

This is one of the most important steps. Without properly preparing, you can leave yourself open to missing opportunities to capture photos and it will eat up precious time on a trip. To begin, my studio and I use Google Map Engine to build out detailed maps of the locations that we are planning to capture. You can add destinations, location images, and details about accommodations or food along the way.

Packing correctly also will help you optimize your traveling space. Make sure the essentials are always available. My essentials are my camera kit, a headlamp, multi-tool, light jacket, beanie, and a light tripod. This all usually fits in one of my F Stop camera bags. Having these readily available keeps you ready to take photographs at a moment’s notice.

One last step in preparation is finding out where the sun will set, rise, and where the Milky Way will cross the sky. (Note that the core of the Milky Way is not visible during winter months of the northern hemisphere).

4. Look for more than the postcard angle

I always begin my photographic process by circumnavigating my subject. I look for every angle and every opportunity to view the subject differently. Get higher than the subject, get lower, shoot close and wide, shoot far way and compressed. Shoot with more background or more foreground.

Though I don’t always literally circumnavigate, i.e. traverse around the subject, I always aim to gain an appreciation for the landscape, seek out the details such as brilliant moss rocks, the way the clouds are moving over the land, the way the mountains lead to the water, etc. When I feel like I have fully scouted, I use my shot list and begin seeing how the shots will integrate into the scene.

5. Shoot your subject in multiple lighting scenarios

Back in September, a few buddies and I kayaked 7.5 miles on the completely still Maligne Lake to reach Spirit Island and capture it at different times of day. My favorite times of day to capture a landscape are sunrise, sunset, and under the stars. Each scenario presents different light and a different mood to the photographs.

We arrived after the grueling paddle and because I knew our time there was limited, we began shooting right away to capture the sunset. After capturing the sunset, we scarfed down cliff bars, set up a minimal camp, and got our tripods out when it got dark. The brilliant stars came out and we were so in awe of how beautiful the sky was.

After locking my camera into my tripod I set my exposure to 15” (to make sure the stars stayed sharp), set the aperture to f/4, and ISO to 400. I had not seen too many photos from Spirit Island at night, so I knew it was important to get every variation. Throughout the night I shot images with a tent, without a tent, with a 4-hour start trail, with the stars tack sharp, and a hundred other variations. I was wiped, I got just a few hours of sleep, but I knew I had to get up before the sun rose in order to shoot this landscape at sunrise. As with the first two scenarios, sunrise blew me away. I can confidently say that it is the most beautiful place and I will remember that night we spent at Spirit Island for a long time!

6. Add a human element to the landscape

Once I feel like I have captured the best angles of the landscape, I love to introduce a human element. I did this at Spirit Island, I added a kayaker, a hiker, someone near the tent, and someone jumping into the icy water.

By adding a human element, the landscape was given a sense of scale and it gives whoever is viewing the photo a way to emotionally connect with it. When shooting someone, make sure to give them separation with either color or contrast, whether in the sky, against a body of water, or a background that is not busy. You want to be able to quickly identify them in the photo.

Chris Burkard

 

Chris Burkard
Photographer at Chris Burkard Photography

Find out what excites you in the world and take photographs of that subject. If you are passionate about a subject, this usually shines through in the final image or print. Having a good understanding of what you are photographing leads to stronger and more compelling images. This approach helps to show your audience what makes you different from other photographers and is critical to finding your own voice and developing a personal style.

Scott Smorra

 

Scott Smorra
Photographer at Scott Smorra Photography

Choose the Right Camera Gear

The ONE tip I would give any photographer is to use a UV filter. This can definitely transform all your shots by getting rid of that bluish tint you can get, especially if you capture landscapes with horizons.

UV filters *may* alter your picture’s sharpness if they are cheap, so I would recommend going with branded ones like Nikon, Hoya, or B&W. The second thing to know about UV filters is that they can protect your lens, even if the front elements are usually the cheapest to replace.

My camera once detached from its harness right on the lens. It broke the UV filter in a million pieces, and my lens didn’t have a scratch. The third thing to know about UV filters is that they can create some slight vignetting effect on your images. Sometimes, it’s better to go without, especially if you’re already using an ND filter to achieve a movement effect.

Ambre Peyrotty

 

Ambre Peyrotty
Photographer at Zephyr & Luna

Landscape photography is magical and if I had any tips for experienced or new photographers out there, I would say that a heavy tripod (stable in the wind) and an understanding of shutter speeds (can add movement to still life) and how important the clouds are; they can define a moment.

Ryan Pyle

 

Ryan Pyle
Photographer at Ryan Pyle Photography

Neutral Density filters and polarizing filters are must-have pieces of kit for the landscape photographer. Polarizers are great for eliminating some of the reflections in water and getting more contrast out of your image. (Here’s a neat trick to use in a pinch: hold up a pair of polarized sunglasses in front of your lens if you don’t have your filter handy!) If the sky is too bright, an ND filter will help you balance your exposure.

Tania Braukamper

 

Tania Braukamper
Editor at Shotkit.com

From Neutral Density filters to color graded (polarized) filters, you have the freedom to play with your surroundings and capture them as you please in a more creative way.

Polarizing filters darken the sky and therefore bring out the blues in contrast to the white of the clouds while Neutral Density filters will allow you to limit the intake of intense/bright light and have you compose slow shutter speed shots to display movement in your take (long exposure). To capture long exposure, you will need a tripod and a remote for your camera to avoid any type of shake.

Can Ahtam

 

Can Ahtam
Photographer at Can Ahtam

Optimize Your Camera Settings

Learn how to meter for both front light and backlight to properly expose the shot.

Light metering allows your camera to choose the right combination of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, in order to achieve balanced exposure for your photo. There isn’t a by-the-book right way to do this – the right way to choose your light metering method has a lot to do with what you are trying to achieve creatively. There are a total of four metering modes available on most modern cameras.

  • Spot metering is useful for high-contrast scenes with the subject significantly darker or lighter than the rest of the composition. 
  • Partial metering is similar to spot metering but a larger area is involved (compared to spot metering’s selected focus point).
  • Center-weighted metering is useful when you’re dealing with a subject that highly contrasts with the background. It uses a large round area in the center of the viewfinder and measures its light intensity.
  • Evaluative/matrix metering is useful for scenes with little to no contrast. When measuring light intensity, it takes into consideration the entire frame you are pointing at.

My tip is to experiment with the different methods as much as you wish, in order to master making beautiful, well-exposed photos.

Snezhina Piskova

 

Snezhina Piskova
Digital Creator at Independent Fashion Bloggers

Here’s one thing that can quickly take a landscape photographer’s work from good to great: shooting RAW files!

If you’ve shot landscapes before, you’ve probably come across the problem of losing color and detail in the sky of what is otherwise a stunning image. Or, the sky looks great, but the foreground is way too dark. Most people start out shooting JPEG photos, which can look great and don’t necessarily require much editing, but raw files capture so much more information, and they can help you get those skies back.

Shooting RAW and exposing your photo for the sky can help you keep information and color there that you might otherwise lose, without having to lean on extra gadgets like filters for your lenses! It’s easy to get shadow detail back in Photoshop or Lightroom, and you can get a much broader dynamic range and more compelling landscape photos.

Paige Elizabeth Gribb

 

Paige Elizabeth Gribb
Photographer at Paige Gribb Photography

My advice for landscape photography would be to slow down your shutter speed because slow shutter speeds slow downtime and blur moving scenes of clouds, waves, water, cars, stars, and more, giving a dreamy look to your images through time-lapse.

To shoot even slower, use a neutral density filter to reduce the light entering the camera and allow for shooting with extremely slow shutter speeds.

Jim Costa

 

Jim Costa
Video Producer at Jim Costa Films

Underexpose your shot

With an underexposed photo, you are sure to have all the information of the scene for editing after. It’s easier to brighten and tweak dark areas in a photo, but you cannot darken or retrieve details in white spots anymore, which is the case if your photo is overexposed. Underexposed shots allow you to play more with shadows and structure which allow for stylistic edits.

Raymond Cua

 

Raymond Cua
Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Travelling Foodie

Find the Perfect Location

I’ve been shooting landscape photos for nearly four years, and my biggest tip is to seek out underrated/unknown locations. Everyone likes to go to all these epic locations they’ve seen on Instagram, but this makes for an unpleasant experience & basic photos.

Part of landscape photography is connecting with the outdoors, and it’s hard to do that when you are surrounded and crammed together with 100 other photographers all taking the exact same photo.

Instead, try to find somewhere that you haven’t seen before. This is more rewarding as it makes the location more special to you and it makes you a better photographer because it requires you to find the right composition instead of just copying one you have already seen.

Colby Eubanks

 

Colby Eubanks
Photographer at Colby Eubanks

Research the location you’re going to shoot in before you go. If you’re shooting at the coast, look at the tide times; for instance, in some locations, there is a mountain that is perfectly reflected in the water only when the tide is on its way out, or in some places there is a lot of seaweed when the tide is low which can make the shot look messy.

Taking the sun position into account too is crucial – some waterfalls look glorious in the morning light while others are hidden in shadow, depending on which way they face. Using a website like www.suncalc.org to see the positions of the sun has helped me so much with getting an idea of when the light will be at the perfect angle for the area I want to shoot.

Cat Gundry-Beck

 

Cat Gundry-Beck
Photographer at Cat Gundry-Beck

I would say that my number one tip is to not focus too much on traveling to all the epic locations but to find a location that you can go back to over and over again.

Hopping from one location to the next is much like casual meetings with people whom you don’t know. You respond to your first superficial impression and don’t know that person at all. If you get to know someone better, you have deeper conversations, you get to really know this person and you might find out that this person has much more to offer than you thought he or she had.

It is the same with landscapes. If you revisit a location time and time again, you get to know it better, you can get beyond the superficial and your pictures will improve drastically because you are forced to go beyond the superficial snapshots and will be challenged to try to find new compositions. This is when you really become aware of your surroundings and see in a new way.

Ellen Borggreve

 

Ellen Borggreve
Photographer at Ellen Borggreve Photography

My number one tip, especially for beginners, is to take advantage of mapping sites and tools to scout locations that can help reduce time driving around and looking at places in-person.

Before I went on a location scout to take some 4th of July fireworks photos over the National Mall, I used Google Maps to figure out unique places where I could view the Washington Monument. As a result, I found a spot across the Potomac River that gave me a great view! Another tool my production team uses when scouting locations is Sun Seeker, it charts out the path of the sun so you have an idea where the optimal angles would be for magic hour.

Patrick Pho
Content Producer at Patrick Pho

My number one tip is to do a lot of due diligence with your location scouting and have the patience to wait until you’ve really got the shot.

Whether you’re shooting in a landscape photography location that has been shot ad nauseam or some location that practically no one has ever heard of, you can get your best shot of it (and increase your chances of discovering a new angle on a location that has been shot before) by going there and getting a feel for the place, finding the best angle to shoot it from, and coming back if necessary.

If you give yourself time, that means if you’re out scouting during, say, around noon when the light is harsh and you find the perfect spot, you can come back at sunrise or sunset if you think the shot would work best at golden hour.

Likewise, you might find that when you’re scouting a location the weather conditions aren’t ideal and you can plan to come back at a later time when they are. And if you take a shot during a certain season, think about whether the shot would work better in another season of the year. The time of day and the season you shoot in can make or break your photographs.

Brandon Ballweg

 

Brandon Ballweg
Founder at ComposeClick

Utilize Your Senses

The most important thing to realize is that when you’re shooting outside, you’re not just shooting the gorgeous redwood tree you’ve noticed; you’re shooting an entire scene, an emotional event. Before a shoot, take half an hour to absorb your surroundings and observe what hits your five senses the hardest. Experiment with focusing in on what you notice the most, and before you know it, you’ll be using your photography instincts to guide your shoots.

Try shooting from different points of view, as this will give perspective to the shot. Shooting from down low close to the grass with a wide-angle lens can provide a more interesting photograph than a simple shot taken at standing level. You can practice with different shots by going low, high, or zooming in.

Glen Wilde

 

Glen Wilde
CEO, Founder, & Photographer at Diet to Success

When you find a scene or environment that moves you to create an image, the first thing to do is to close your eyes. Photographers can see better if they close their eyes for a moment. Let your other senses inform your inspiration.

Feel a breeze on your skin? Maybe use a slower shutter speed to reveal the moving grasses. Smell the aroma of a field of flowers or blooming trees? Accentuate those elements by showing their abundance or using some in the foreground. Did you feel rough rocks through your boots as you hiked to a spot? Perhaps drop lower to maximize the rough terrain. And so on and so on! Close your eyes, you’ll see better.

Dion McInnis

 

Dion McInnis
Photographer at Dion McInnis Photography

Take time to really see. Try to look at the subject of your attention for long enough that it ceases to be recognizable. In the same way that looking at a word for a long time renders it unfamiliar, try to unshackle yourself from all preconceptions. Instead, observe in a very abstract sense – see the shapes, the lines, planes of light, etc.

Valda Bailey

 

Valda Bailey
Photographer at Valda Bailey Photography

Let yourself be guided by what your eyes are really focused on, special elements in nature that capture your attention even if you don’t know why. If you’ll really learn to understand what your eye looks for and convert all this in a shot, you’ll be able to capture very interesting images also in very popular locations or places that don’t look so special.

Isabella Tabacchi

 

Isabella Tabacchi
Photographer at Isabella Tabacchi Photography

Set the Scene

One of the main tips I have for improving your landscape photography is to really make sure you understand light. Landscape photography is different from many other forms of photography in that you can’t control the available light. As a result, you need to have a strong understanding of how light affects your image and how to work with it in order to produce technically sound and beautiful photography.

Most people have probably heard that shooting at golden hour is one of the best times of day to shoot. And, it’s true – the light is softer and has a beautiful inviting warm glow to it. Not only that but since the sun is lower during golden hour, you get more interesting shadows on your landscapes which can really enhance your composition.

Other times, you’ll want to deliberately shoot when the sky is cloudy or slightly overcast. Essentially, clouds are like a big natural softbox and they really help to diffuse the light and balance your exposure. For example, when shooting waterfalls, harsh sunlight can cause ugly hotspots and reflections that are hard to deal with. When it’s overcast, the light is far more balanced and pleasing to the eye.

As well as timing your photography to maximize the available light, you can further control it with filters and polarisers and even editing techniques like blending exposures and HDR photography.

Connor Mollison

 

Connor Mollison
Photographer at Connor Mollison Photography

My personal number one tip to improve your landscape photography would be to follow the clouds, especially for sunrise and sunset. I feel like clouds in your landscape photos gives them more depth and perspective. But the true magic happens at sunrise and sunset because it seems like the clouds help the sky explode with beautiful colors!

Jermaine Amado

 

Jermaine Amado
Photographer/Owner at J Amado Photography

Follow the light. It’s one of the best pieces of advice I have received as a photographer. Photography is painting with light, if there is no light in the image it will be very disappointing.

Errord Jarrett

 

Errord Jarrett
Photographer at CSJ Photography

Whenever I take the landscape shots, I capture them during the golden hours. The golden light gives a beautiful frame and enhances the beauty of the place. The sun’s angle and how it impacts the scene is beyond words as it creates exciting patterns, dimensions, and textures. Whether you are a beginner or a professional photographer, you will ever get the best light and creative possibilities.

Gintaras Steponkus

 

Gintaras Steponkus
Photographer & Webmaster at Camera Harmony

Search for Depth

When I first started photography, as many people do, I started with landscape photography. I wanted to capture the scene in a way that when I reviewed the photos or displayed them it was like anyone could walk right into that particular landscape. Maximizing depth of field to create a sharp image from the foreground through the background is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to achieve this.

Start off by using a small aperture, somewhere between f8-f11. If you shoot using the minimum or largest apertures you could create diffraction (noticeable softening of images caused by the reduction of optical resolution as you encroach on the smallest/largest of a lens aperture).

Since your aperture will be small you’re going to more than likely have a slow shutter speed so use a tripod to avoid camera shake. An external shutter release or an app used with WiFi capable cameras will also reduce shake. If you don’t have either try to use a 10-second timer.

Keep an eye on your shutter speed for objects moving in the scene creating motion blur. One way to fix this is by increasing your ISO to freeze motion or you can use ND filters to create more blur.

Start off focusing on the middle of the photo, roughly one-third into the scene. I use single-point autofocus and drag my focus point. You can also manually adjust. Another option is to focus stack. Focusing on the foreground, then midground and finally the background and merging the photos in post-production.

After you take your shots don’t forget to preview them. Zoom into the area in which you were focusing on and make sure it is in focus from foreground to background. If the image is not sharp lower your aperture and shoot again.

Lastly, shoot during golden hour. Golden hour is the hour after sunrise and the hour prior to sunset. These will create beautifully dramatic shadows as well as visually pleasing warm tones in your image.

Nick Boris

 

Nick Boris
Owner at Livli Productions

Look for depth in the photo, play with foreground and background. Are there rocks, plants, or other natural features in the scene that you can use to frame up the entire landscape? Use these elements to help great a sense of grandeur for your viewer.

Darcy Rogers

 

Darcy Rogers
Photography at DarcyRodgers.com

Get creative and add more depth to your landscape photos by including foreground and background in the shot. When possible, try and include a tree, an animal, or even a car that is closer to your lens, but also focusing on the beautiful background. This simple tip will add dimension to your photograph and will make it more interesting for your viewers.

Brian James

 

Brian James
Photographer at Brian James Photography

Compose Your Shot

Look for a way to use leading lines in your image

Leading lines are a powerful way to draw the viewer’s attention to the main subject of your landscape image. Think about trees, paths, cliff lines, and creeks or rivers and guide the viewer’s eye. Also, never be afraid to get low with the camera to create a more powerful landscape, when you get low it creates a sense that the landscape is bigger than you are. It creates interest in the viewer.

Jonathan Ridgely
Photographer at JonathonRphoto.com

My best tip for shooting landscapes is to learn proper composition rules.

When it comes to landscape photography, the composition is everything because you must balance the background, foreground, lines, shapes, and be familiar with the best focal points. If you do this right, your photos will dramatically improve. Also, after you’ve nailed the composition part, editing becomes easier.

Ivana Kurilic

 

Ivana Kurilic
Blogger & Photographer at Artful Haven

When photographing landscapes, the most important tip to keep in mind is to make sure you are being very detailed. You want everything that’s in the frame to be exactly what you are expecting.

The worst is when you come home and look through your photos and notice how there are people, garbage, fire hydrants, etc. in your shot. This will cause you hours of photoshops when you could have avoided it from the beginning. I also have to say that choosing the right lens that is wide enough is ideal for landscapes. I prefer to use a 14-55mm lens!

Makayla Casey

 

Makayla Casey
Photographer at Makayla Casey Photography

Push Your Boundaries

When I first got started with photography one of the biggest mistakes I made was going out only when it was comfortable. To get great landscape images, I eventually learned that an element of discomfort was often needed.

I don’t mean this in any extreme way, but for example, the small discomfort of getting up extra early to get in place before sunrise. Or the discomfort of getting a little wet by going out just before or after a heavy rain rolls through an area.

The average person avoids discomfort, so they get average images. Whenever a new photographer comes to me and asks for tips, this is one of the first things I mention as I found that this simple idea immediately helped elevate my own images.

Kevin Kienitz

 

Kevin Kienitz
Photographer at Kevin Kienitz Photography

What’s Your Number One Landscape Photography Tip?

After hearing from these amazing professionals, it’s clear that a lot of thought, preparation, and time goes into capturing a landscape photo that truly stands out. By following these tips, though, you will be well on your way to improving your photography skills and capturing amazing photos just like these pros!

We want to say a big “thank you!” to all of the photographers who contributed to this article and made this list of tips possible. We truly appreciate it!

Make sure to share some love in the comments below and thank these photographers if you can. Also, we’d love to hear your best landscape photography tips! In the comments below, please leave your number one tip for capturing better landscape photos!

Vintage Photography Guide

Vintage Photography 101: A Guide to Getting Started

Vintage Photography 101: A Guide to Getting Started

In this guide, we break down the basics of vintage photography, along with tips, examples, and recommended gear to help you get started.

The first photograph was taken in 1826, and photography has completely evolved as an art form since then. With the invention of digital cameras, there is no longer a need to rely on film or dark rooms to produce pictures, but the art of vintage photography is still worth appreciating, even in the modern era.

Dark Room Photography

Image via PetaPixel

In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of vintage photography, and cover tips for creating vintage pictures with modern equipment. Use the links below to skip ahead, or keep reading for a complete guide to capturing vintage photos:

What is Vintage Photography?

Vintage photography has a pretty broad definition, especially in our modern world. It can refer to anything shot on a non-digital camera (like a Polaroid or Film camera), a photo processed to look older through editing and filters, photography that is created by mimicking old processes, or photos shot on modern equipment that are styled for a vintage look.

girl and boy black and white photo

Image via Photonify

While you may have an old Polaroid camera floating around in your attic, it is not necessary to invest in a brand new film camera to capture vintage-style photos. Translating this genre to modern-day equipment is pretty simple, so you can get started even if you don’t have older equipment to work with.

If you want to really get the feel of vintage photography, look into film cameras, but be aware of the work that goes into developing film. Search for film developers near you, or check out your local area to see if someone has a dark room where you can work on your photos.
Man Looking in Film Camera

Image via Esquire

If you choose to go with modern equipment to capture your vintage shoots, understanding what makes a photo “vintage” will help you master this genre. Vintage photos were limited by the use of film and the lack of features on the camera, which means the photographers had to do a lot of work to get quality images.

Vintage photos are also at the whim of the film, meaning imperfections were common, and these photos typically have a natural softness to them, as well as a grainy look in low light situations. By understanding how film reacted to certain situations and affected the image quality, recreating the vintage feel will be easier for you.

How to get started?

The best way to get started in this genre is by taking time to familiarize yourself with the different eras of vintage photos and decide which style you want to focus on replicating.

Vintage photography is a broad term that covers everything from 1826 to the 1990s, so looking at different types and understanding what style you enjoy will help you narrow down where to start.

Girl with guitar

Image via BeFunky

Once you’ve nailed down the style you want to work with, check out the cameras and equipment that was used during that time. You can do this through a simple Google search and by reading articles about how these photos were made. Familiarize yourself with the effects that were created on images, and think about the ways to recreate them with modern equipment.

Scout locations, and invest in vintage props if you want. For example, if you want to create a shoot that captures the essence of the 1970s, you can have your model wear 70s style clothes, and you can use vintage landmarks as your backdrop. By immersing your subjects into the time you want to recreate, the results will seem much more authentic than just placing a filter over a random picture.

Tips & Tricks For Getting The Best Shots

After understanding the basics of getting started with vintage photography, try these tips to help make the most of your shoots.

Rainbow Black and White

Image via Smashing Magazine

  • Shoot in Black & White or Sepia. This seems like a simple tip, but shooting in black & white or sepia can be tricky when working with different lighting situations. Practice shooting in black & white, rather than simply using a filter in post-processing, so you can get comfortable understanding how the lighting is affected by these colors.
  • Try out classic compositions. Modern photography has encouraged a lot of experimentation with composition and posing, so reverting back to classic styles can help you achieve the ultimate vintage look. Classic compositions typically include clear vertical and horizontal axes. Stick with the Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio composition to get these results.
  • Embrace imperfections. It is super easy to edit out any imperfections with modern technology, but vintage photos didn’t have the luxury of Photoshop. Instead of trying to fix imperfections, like lens flares or blurry movement, lean into these characteristics as they will give your photos more of a vintage feel.

Girl with black shirt

Image via Ceros

  • Focus on achieving a soft look. Many vintage photos have a “soft” quality to them. This is due to the equipment used to capture them, as vintage cameras don’t have the megapixels or ability to capture detail like modern cameras can. To perfect the vintage vibe, embrace the softness of your images, and use filters or other accessories to obtain this quality. Fuzzy details, especially in the background, may seem strange if you’re used to shooting with digital cameras, but allowing your photos to have a hazy quality will really help achieve a vintage look.
  • Choose a theme and stick to it. This tip definitely isn’t a rule you have to follow the entire time, but having a cohesive vintage theme will be helpful if you plan on using this style with clients. Focus each shoot on one type of vintage photo, like a 1940s style shoot, and try to keep your photos as consistent as possible throughout.
  • Adjust your levels. If you are using a modern camera or post-processing software, pay attention to the levels of your contrast and saturation. Most vintage photos aren’t extremely saturated and they typically lack contrast, so be sure to follow those characteristics to create authentic images.

Vintage Photography Ideas

Use these ideas to get your vintage photography jumpstarted, and get creative with this genre.

Group of Girls

Image via Cossetmoi

Have a specific time period you want to recreate? Spend the day at a thrift store and pick out some props or specific clothing items for your shoot. Adding these elements to your image can really take your photos to the next level.

Shoot Monochrome

Shoot Monochrome

Image via The Vintage Films

Shoot your photos in black and white, no matter what your background is. This will easily give you a vintage feel, and it will help you get the hang of your vintage style. You can also achieve this effect by using a filter during post-processing.

Use a Texture Overlay

Texture Overlay

Image via RetroSupply Co

Create that fuzzy, vintage feeling by adding a texture overlay to your photos. This is a great way to make digital photos feel older, like their film predecessors.

Try Out Vintage Poses

Vintage Pose

Image via Expert Photography

Most early photography featured candids or extremely posed figures. Since there wasn’t a fast speed when taking pictures, models had to hold their poses, and this often led to a very stiff effect. Try this out with your models to achieve the vintage look.

Shoot Using a Polaroid Camera

Airoplane window

Image via PicsArt

Using a Polaroid or a film camera can help you achieve the perfect vintage look. Try out a Polaroid for instant results, since you don’t have to develop the film yourself, and have fun with the outcome.

Recommended Gear

It is possible to achieve the vintage style with modern equipment, but there is some gear that can help you step up your game or get started in the genre.

FUJI Camera

Image via 35mmc

While you may want to start out on digital if you already have a good camera, investing in a solid film camera can take your vintage pictures to the next level.The following cameras are great options for a wide variety of vintage scenarios:

  • Fuji GW690III is a rangefinder style camera with hefty build. This camera creates 6 x 9 negatives, and typically produces higher quality images than many of its competitors.
  • Mamiya 7 II uses a leaf shutter, and it can use wide angle lenses. It is one of the quietest shutters on the market, which makes it a great choice for those who want to take their vintage style to weddings or for nature photography.
  • Yashica T4is a point and shoot camera with a great lens, and it has a compact design, which makes it great for active photographers who don’t want to lug around heavy equipment.
  • Nikon F2 is great for any photographer who is already a Nikon user. This camera fits most Nikon lenses, but still gives you the film quality for a vintage vibe.

If you choose to go with a film camera, investing in high quality film will make sure you get the best images out of your shoots. Check out Kodak’s most popular film, Portra, for your everyday shoots.

If you want film that creates a darker atmosphere, consider buying Fujicolor Pro 400, and allow it to make your vintage photos pop. Kodak Tri-X 400 is a great choice if you want to develop your photos in black & white, and this film is known for its balanced contrast and shadow detail.

Vintage Photography Effects

If you don’t want to invest in vintage equipment, or if you just want to try out vintage photos with your modern equipment, plan on using vintage effects and filters to achieve your desired look.

The great thing about photography today is that modern post-processing software and editing apps have made it extremely easy to create the perfect photo. Modern photography has made many advances, like preset filters and leves editing, so you can adjust your digital pictures.

If you want to create your own, you can follow these steps to achieve the look yourself:

  • Fade your colors with a tone curve.Raise the left side of your RGB curve to erase the dark tones to create softer shadows. Reduce the saturation or vibrance along with this to create a faded, vintage look.
  • Try split-toning. Simply add a warm color to your highlights, and a cool color to your shadows. This creates a faded vintage look, and allows you to change the final result by choosing different colors in these areas.

Picture Editing Tool

Image via Digital Photography School

Lightroom presets have made it extremely easy to achieve the vintage look, as well as keep a cohesive aesthetic across all of your photos. You can always download free presets, or buy a set if you find one you really like, and then use these when editing in Lightroom.

If you want to buy presets for your vintage photos, here are 5 great options to try out:

  1. Vintage Lightroom Preset Bundle. This set includes 153 presets, and it ranges from the original Daguerreotype style to vintage 70s and 80s, so you can be sure to have a preset that will work for you.
  2. Autochrome Lumiere Lightroom Presets. Achieve the perfect faded vintage look with these 10 presets. This set is modeled after real vintage Autochrome Lumiere prints, so your images will look authentic after adding these presets.
  3. The Memento Vintage Workflow. This set includes 34 presets that can create just about any of the vintage looks you may want. It also includes 20 adjustment brushes that will help you get in specific areas when you need to touch-up your images.
  4. Retro Color. If you want the perfect color presets that add retro flair to your work, then this is a great set to choose. The retro color doesn’t compromise on color quality when added, but it does create a soft vintage flair to your pictures. This set comes with 10 presets to help you get creative with your colorful, vintage images.
  5. Expired Film. A great set for getting that film-y quality in your digital photos. This pack is nice for photographers who want the film look, but don’t want to go through the hassle of purchasing a film camera and developing their own images. This 10-pack set adds a hazy quality to your pictures for the perfect vintage look.

Final Thoughts

Vintage photography is a broad topic in the world of modern technology, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. This genre is all about appreciating the ways photography has evolved, and focusing on the timeless traditions that have emerged within the art form.

Find the best way to enjoy vintage photography for your style, whether that’s using a film camera, creating a vintage look with presets, or simply styling your models in vintage outfits. Jump right into the genre, and start capturing your own vision of vintage.

For more helpful tips, tricks, and guide on photography, check out Grid50’s Resources section.

Aerial Photography Guide

The Complete Guide to Aerial Photography

The Complete Guide to Aerial Photography

In this guide, we break down the basics of aerial photography to help you understand the genre and to get you ready to start working in the field.

As the photography world continues to advance with increasing technological innovations, the genres within the world are evolving. Aerial photography is quickly adapting within the consumer level, as drones are becoming more accessible for the masses, which means the possibilities for aerial photography are limitless.

Breaking into the world of aerial photography may seem a bit daunting, especially for someone who is typically used to shooting on land with a handheld camera, but the genre is full of challenging potential for anyone interested enough to jump into it.

Our guide walks you through the basics of aerial photography, provides tips for starting out, and has a helpful list of recommended gear to help make equipment purchases easier.

Read on or use the links to below to “jump” to each section:

What is Aerial Photography?

Aerial Photography

Image via ISO500px

Simply put, aerial photography is photography taken from above by aircraft (like planes and helicopters) and other flying objects (like drones). Aerial photography is a broad genre that has undergone a lot of progress in recent years due to new technological advances, like the development of consumer-friendly drones, that have helped make the genre more accessible.

Aerial photography can be done for a variety of reasons including cartography, landscape planning, archeology, movie production, environmental studies, power line inspection, surveillance, marketing, and artistic projects. Since aerial photography can be used for many situations, it is a versatile way to turn your hobby into a business endeavor.

With so many opportunities to utilize aerial photography, understanding the basics of the genre can be a great way to begin making money off of your aerial work. With drones becoming easier for the consumer level, getting the right equipment and gaining experience is the best way to get started in aerial photography.

Aerial vs. Drone Photography: What’s the Difference?

Aerial VS Drone Photography

Image via Adorama

Drone technology has advanced quickly in recent years making it easier than ever for consumers and professionals to access this equipment. While aerial photography does not have to be done by drones, the use of these cameras has allowed for exciting developments within the genre.

The easiest way to understand the difference between drone photography and aerial photography is to view drone photography as a subgenre. With the increasing use of drones, drone photography and aerial photography are quickly becoming interchangeable, but it is important to know there is other equipment that can be used to achieve the same results.

Tyes of Aerial Photography

Aerial photography has many commercial uses, as well as artistic potential for personal projects. While aerial photography is a genre within itself, it does expand into other genres like landscape photography, nature photography, sports and action, and real estate photography. The possibilities for aerial photography are pretty abundant, so it is easy to find an area that aligns with your interests.

Landscape Photography

Landscape Phtography

Image via PictureCorrect

Taking pictures of landscapes in an aerial view can be used for many projects like land surveying, landscaping, and cartography. This subgenre is a great way to find gigs that may pay for your aerial work.

Landscape photography, especially with aerial photos, can also fall into nature photography, as this combination is a great way for adventure-seeking photographers to capture natural and exciting scenes like volcanos, oceans, mountains, and waterfalls.

Filmmaking and Videography

Filmmaking and Videography

Image via Expert Photography

A common use for aerial photography is in cinematography. Aerial footage can be used to set the scene for movies and short films, and many companies can use aerial footage in their marketing materials.

Real Estate Photography

Real Estate Photography

Image via DronesEtc

Another way to turn your aerial work into a side business is through real estate photography. Aerial pictures can play a critical role in capturing the full property of a listing, and it can be a great way to step up any real estate listing.

Sports and Action Photography

Sports and Action Photography

Image via Twenty20

Another genre reaping the benefits of drone usage is sports and action photography. With the use of drones, sports photographers can capture impressive pictures at all angles, especially of aerial sports like skiing and snowboarding. This can also be useful for photographers wanting to capture large scale events like NASCAR races and football games to showcase the entirety of an event.

How to Get Started in Aerial Photography

Like all types of photography, aerial photography requires an investment of time and resources to get started. First, do your research to see which types of aerial photography seem interesting and doable in your areas. By knowing which types of aerial shoots you will want to work on, you can start to narrow down which equipment will best fit your needs.

Once you’ve decided on the best gear for you (we’ll go more in-depth about different types of drones, or you can jump ahead to read more), you will want to practice with your equipment to get comfortable handling it.

How to Get Started

Image via Photography Tricks

Start by testing out your drone or gear in large open areas, like parks or open fields, to get a handle on how to operate and use your equipment. Practicing this way will let you test out the speed, angles, and drone handling, so you will feel comfortable doing a shoot.

Don’t forget to check out the rules and regulations for drone usage in the areas you plan to be shooting or practicing in. Since aerial photography has become even more popular with drone usage, many areas have begun to draft rules and regulations around their usage.

Starting with recreational use (photography by drones that you are not being paid or commissioned to do), the rules are pretty simple, but they get a bit more complicated for commercial use.

Check out the guidelines around registering your gear, and make sure to read local rules frequently to stay up-to-date on any possible changes to regulations.

Quick Tips to Follow:

  • Be sure you can always see your drone, and keep it within your line of sight.
  • Know the maximum permissible height for the area you are shooting in, and don’t go above it.
  • Avoid flying your drone in overcrowded areas. Public spaces, such as parks, are fine, but respect the space of others.
  • Just as you would with other types of photography, respect the privacy of others and do not take pictures of private property without permission.
  • Avoid airports and no-fly zones.

Tips for Getting the Best Aerial Shots

Aerial photography can produce stunning results with practice and attention to detail. Like all photography, at its core, aerial photography is an art form, and it requires an understanding of lighting, angles, and equipment to produce high-quality images.

Aerial Phtography Tips

Image via Hudson

Familiarize Yourself with Your Gear

Any gear you use for aerial shoots will have pros and cons, especially if you are used to still photography with a DSLR camera, so understanding how to properly handle your equipment will make a huge difference in your image results.

All drones have limitations, and understanding these limits, as well as finding the best ways to work around them, will help you step up your game. Be prepared to make adjustments to your technique, as working with drones is very different than working with a typical DSLR camera. Doing your research and practicing with your equipment will make a big difference.

Take Advantage of Auto Mode

You may be used to working in manual mode on your DSLR, but don’t be afraid to utilize the auto mode on your drone, especially when you are first starting out. Since drones are operated remotely, the live view on your device may not be an accurate depiction of what you are actually taking pictures of, so using your auto mode can help produce quality images while you are getting the hang of things.

Work With Height

Your equipment may be able to reach exceptional heights, but that may not be the best approach for every shoot. Try lower heights to switch up the angles and perspectives of your photos, and only go as high as possible when trying to cover the most area in your shots.

Plan Your Shoots

Almost all aerial photography is going to be done outside, so planning your shoots around the natural lighting of the day will help you capture the best images. Work with the sun and other weather conditions when shooting aerial images, and think ahead to plan what kind of weather will be best to capture your subject.

Composition Matters

Whether you are using a drone or doing in-person aerial shoots from a plane, the composition of your photos will make all the difference. Pay attention to the landscape and subjects you are trying to capture, and focus on finding the best composition to portray them. If you are planning on working with landscape shoots, study the area beforehand, so you can be knowledgeable when shooting.

Recommended Gear

While drone photography is the most consumer-friendly option for aerial shooting, there is equipment that works well with other forms of aerial photography like shoots done from planes and helicopters.

If you plan to conduct aerial shoots from a plane or helicopter, rather than working with a drone, the best lenses to take are a 24-70mm, ultrawide 16-35mm, and a telephoto lens. The telephoto lens will allow you to get close to the subject or landscape that you are shooting, while also capturing fine details.

Bringing along extra camera straps, and safe storage for any gear you are not using is a good idea, since shooting from a plane or helicopter can be a bit tricky. Dress properly for the height as well.

The Best Drones for Photography

The market for drone photography is constantly advancing, which means there are several great choices that can fit the needs of whatever type of aerial photography you wish to do. With so much versatility in the market, the most important factor when choosing which drone is best for you is picking one that fits your shooting needs.

DJI MAVIC 2 ZOOM

DJI MAVIC 2 ZOOM

This extremely adept drone is powerful, but portable, which makes it great for any action-loving photographer who wants to be able to easily carry their equipment during shoots. The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom has quiet propellers and powerful motors that can withstand high winds just as well as a heavier model.

With high maximum speed and optical zoom features, this drone is a great choice for any photographer who wants to spend a little bit more for a quality piece of portable equipment.

Power Vision Power EggX Wizard

Power Vision Power EggX Wizard

This drone is waterproof and it can land on water, which makes a great choice for photographers who plan on using their drones in tough weather conditions. The Power Vision Power Egg X Wizard can withstand rain and is perfect for outdoor environments, like the beach or waterfalls.

DJI Mavic Mini

DJI Mavic Mini

This is the perfect drone for beginners who are ready to get started in aerial photography, but don’t want to spend money on a pro-level drone. The DJI Mavic Mini is portable, easy to use, and has a 3-axis camera stabilization that creates smooth footage during usage. This drone is marketed towards vlogging culture as well due to its ‘Quickshots’ feature that using preprogramming to help get the perfect shot for social media.

Parrot Anafi FPV

Parrot Anafi FPV

Image via Dronesvilla

The Parrot Anafi FPV is great for travel photographers who don’t want to lug around heavy equipment. This drone is extremely portable, lightweight, and has a folding controller to make traveling with it even easier. On top of its convenient physical design, it delivers quality images at an affordable price.

Ryze Tello

Ryze Tello

This is the most affordable drone on the list, and it is a great piece of equipment to start with at such a low price point. Called a microdrone, the Ryze Tello is operated solely through a smartphone, and it allows for basic programming to help with customization.

Check out the Grid50 marketplace for gear that will work best for aerial photography!

Final Thoughts

Aerial photography is an exciting genre with an abundance of possibilities. Take advantage of the opportunities that consumer-level drones bring, and invest in equipment that will help bring your vision to life.

Start by practicing your aerial skills and finding your niche within the genre, and don’t be afraid to expand your skills into a professional setting, as aerial photography can provide lucrative opportunities in the real estate and landscape photography scenes.

Don’t forget to keep up with regulations and frequently check the drone rules in your area, as the world of consumer drones expand, so will the rules and regulations surrounding them!

Tumblr Photography Blogs Graphic

51 Tumblr Photography Blogs You NEED to Know

51 Tumblr Photography Blogs You Need to Know

Whether you are a seasoned or aspiring photographer, these Tumblr photography blogs should be on your radar.

Tumblr is a useful site where you can showcase your photography or look for inspiration. Plus, if you need advice or want to learn more about this art form, try reaching out to some of your favorite photography bloggers. Many of these blogs feature an “Ask Me Anything” box where you can connect directly with these photographers.

If you are ready to find some new photographer bloggers to follow, keep reading. We’ve gathered a list of over 50 Tumblr photography blogs you should know about:

No Ordinary Sunset

San Francisco Bridge

No Ordinary Sunset is a travel and photography blog where the photographer shares her “quest to capture the most extraordinary sunsets and a home for all the memories in between.” This blog can be a great source of inspiration for travel and landscape photographers.

Chris Burkard Studio

Chris Burkard Studio

Although Chris Burkard rarely updates this Tumblr account, the archive is filled with crisp, bright images of the outdoors. Scroll through this Central California artist’s portfolio for inspiration on nature photography.

Tobishinobi

Tobishinobi

This award-winning photographer offers a unique perspective on cities, streets, and architecture. On Tobishinobi’s Tumblr, the artist often provides a description of how he captured the shot.

Time LightBox

Time LightBox

For those interested in photojournalism, the Time LightBox Tumblr is a notable resource. Although no longer regularly updated, browse the archive for compelling photographs and news stories.

Photography Week

Photography Week

This Tumblr blog is associated with digital magazine Photography Week, which is a great resource for photographers of all levels. As you scroll through the blog, you can read excerpts from past issues and gain insight into how specific pictures were captured.

Portrait Page

Portrait Page

Instead of focusing on the work of a single photographer, Portrait Page curates interesting portraits from a variety of artists. By following this blog, you will be exposed to multiple perspectives and gain inspiration for taking compelling and modern portraits.

Spaces | Debora Smail

Spaces | Debora Smai

Debora Smail is a “Freelance Visualist specializing in Culinary, Editorial & Photojournalistic Photography.” Her Tumblr page is filled with unique shots of interior spaces. If you are interested in shooting restaurants, retail stores, or other interiors, check out Debora Smail’s page to help get your creative juices flowing.

Sonya Yu

Sonya Yu

This archived Tumblr page is the portfolio of San Francisco-based photographer Sonya Yu. As you browse her page, you will find a selection of photographs covering a wide range of subjects, including children, dogs, food, landscapes, and interiors. The vibrant and inviting pictures each tell a story and are worth studying for novice photographers.

Donny Tsang

Donny Tsang

Donny Tsang describes himself as “a photographer who explores culture through food. Working in a photojournalistic style, I capture candid moments of food makers in their kitchens.” His Tumblr page is filled with captivating images of fried chicken. He has worked with many culinary clients, including Food & Wine Magazine and Serious Eats, and is an artist that all inspiring food photographers should be aware of.

Ben Lowy

Ben Lowy

Ben Lowy started his photography blog as a way to showcase the images he captured around the world using his iPhone. Now, his blog is a photo journal of his daily experiences. This blog is a great demonstration that inspiration for great photographs can be found anywhere.

The World We Live In

The World We Live In

This archived Tumblr blog The World We Live In features a collection of interesting photographs from around the world. Browse their collection to gain inspiration and to get a glimpse into how a variety of photographers see the world. Expect to see plenty of impressive travel photographs on their blog.

L’oeil Ailleurs

L’oeil Ailleurs

For those interested in learning about the story behind the photograph, scroll through the collection on the L’oeil Ailleurs Tumblr photography blog. To accompany each picture, the photographer includes a blurb about their history and sources of inspiration. Some of the stories also include information about the cameras and equipment used to capture the shot.

Show Me Pictures

Show Me Pictures

Show Me Pictures has an interesting portfolio that focuses on the gritty and seemingly trivial aspects of everyday life. By capturing these elements in an artistic way, the photographer brings importance to these moments. If you need inspiration for taking this style of picture, browse the collection on the SMP blog.

The Photographers Directory

The Photographers Directory

According to their blog, “The Photographers Directory aims to project photographers on Tumblr on to the global stage, by recognizing and showcasing their original creative work.” Photographers can submit their original work to the site’s curators. When you review this blog, you will notice that most of the pictures include a helpful description of how the shot was captured.

Forgotten Iowa

Forgotten Iowa

Cody Weber is a photographer from Keokuk, Iowa. He spends his time traveling throughout the state. His blog, Forgotten Iowa, is a collection of the images he has captured along his journey. His images all tell a unique story of a place that is often overlooked by photographers.

National Geographic Found

National Geographic Found

Nat Geo no longer updates this account, but you should still browse the collection to check out these interesting captures. National Geographic Found was a blog dedicated to images from their archives. These vintage pictures can help you get an even greater appreciation for the history of this art form.

Original Photographers

Original Photographers

This curated blog is useful for anyone interested in learning from multiple artists. Original Photographers takes submissions and gathers original images from photographers across the world. Instead of only seeing the perspective of one artist, you can get an idea of how many different artists see the world.

Online Journal by Megan McIssac

Online Journal by Megan McIssac

Any aspiring photographers without formal training should follow Megan McIssac’s blog. This self-taught photographer began taking pictures when she was 7 years old and today she works as a freelancer. Her clients include Levi’s, Netflix, NoMad Hotels, and more. Browse her portfolio or take advantage of the question and answer section on her blog to learn from the artist.

RUSH

RUSH

If done well, black and white photographs are very compelling. Although this style can feel forced or tired at times, the RUSH blog shows how black and white can be used well. Scroll through the archive for an impressive collection of striking black and white images.

American Photo

American Photo

Photographers are inspired by many different things. Some want to capture aesthetically-pleasing shots. Others want to tell a story with their image. If you are working towards photojournalism or storytelling, browse the collection on the American Photo blog. Their curated archive shows how seemingly simple images can be used to tell an important story.

Please Excuse the Mess

Please Excuse the Mess

Please Excuse the Mess is a unique collection of eye-catching photographs. The images don’t seem to keep to a single theme, which makes them interesting and worth a look. Gather some inspiration from the eclectic mix of images in this archive.

Kyle Thompson

Kyle Thompson

Kyle Thompson is a 25-year old Portland, Oregon-based photographer. Many of the images in this blog are self-portraits. Kyle often answers questions, so feel free to ask him about his work or peruse the FAQ section on his blog to learn more about his camera equipment and editing style.

On Off Up Down

On Off Up Down

This blog is a portfolio of the Halifax-based artist Nick Wilkinson. His work mainly focuses on editorial and portrait pieces. Many of his images are black and white and showcase how to tell a story with everyday objects and locations.

Josh Hedge

Josh Hedge

Josh Hedge is a 27-year old self-taught photographer and author based in Australia. Other self-taught photographers will enjoy following his blog for motivation and inspiration. The main themes of his work center on nature, animals, and travel.

JW Photo Diary

JW Photo Diary

Johnathan Wykes is a UK photographer whose portfolio is featured in the blog, JW Photo Diary. In this blog, you will see examples of fashion photography, portraits, and street captures. Wykes has a distinct style that new photographers can learn from. His portfolio shows that you can create a signature look that connects your work without making each image look exactly the same.

Photographers on Tumblr

Photographers on Tumblr

If you don’t want to follow a bunch of different Tumblr photography blogs, consider following a curated blog like Photographers on Tumblr. This account pulls the most interesting and captivating original images from a variety of photography accounts. Following this account is a great way to find new photographs and gain inspiration from many unique sources.

Boohwanj

Boohwanj

If you are interested in nature photography, Boohwanj is a great account to connect with. The photography in this portfolio is compelling and crisp. The artist also offers an “ask” section on their blog so you can try to engage with the photographer and learn from their experiences.

Daniel Casson

Daniel Casson

Daniel Casson is a freelance photographer who began his photography career on Instagram. His work quickly attracted thousands of followers and today he works for a variety of notable brands including Land Rover, UK National Lottery, and Dominos. Follow his work on his blog or reach out with a question to learn tips from the photographer.

Takashi Yasui

Takashi Yasui

Takashi Yasui is a Tokyo-based lifestyle photographer. He uses his images to tell a story about daily life in Japan today. He often focuses on the gritty and interesting aspects of city life. Other photographers can follow his blog to gain inspiration for their own lifestyle shots.

RiverWind-Photography

RiverWind-Photography

RiverWind-Photography is a collection of original nature images inspired by the famous American photographer Eliot Porter. These images mainly focus on the Pacific Northwest. Other nature photographers might enjoy browsing this portfolio for inspiration or connecting with the photographer through their blog for advice or mutual knowledge-sharing.

Freddie Ardley

Freddie Ardley

Freddie Ardley is a landscape, portrait and fine art photographer. His work is inspired by the “incredible diversity of landscapes on Earth.” Ardley works as a staff photographer for Citizen Magazine and his blog showcases his unique and whimsical style.

Xuebing Du

Xuebing Du

The photographer Xuebing Du explains that they “explore the beauty of nature by emphasizing texture, light, and color.” You can explore their portfolio to get a glimpse at the impressive and interesting way the artist captures vibrant scenes in nature. This is a great blog to follow if you want to test your creativity and learn how to push the boundaries of light and color.

Reflections

Reflections

Reflections is the blog of Berlin-based photographer Olaf Meyer. He regularly posts interesting scenes of the outdoors, so this is a great follow for anyone looking to build their own nature photography skills. His blog features an “ask me anything” section, so feel free to reach out to connect with this artist.

Nature-Hiking

Nature-Hiking

Robert is a 26-year old Amsterdam-based photographer. His blog focuses on images he captures during summer backcountry hiking trips. If you are an aspiring photographer or use this as a hobby, Nature-Hiking is a great blog to follow. Robert’s work shows that you shouldn’t stop taking pictures even if it isn’t your full time job.

Swedish Landscapes

Swedish Landscapes
If you are interested in landscape photography, consider following the Swedish Landscapes Tumblr blog. This page is dedicated to original photographs of the changing seasons across Sweden. This photographer often notes when the photos are unedited so you can get an idea of the images they can capture without Photoshop.

Hannah Aspen Photography

Hannah Aspen Photography

Hannah Aspen is a 25-year old photographer with a background in the fashion industry. By “drawing inspiration from fine art, music and poetry, she hopes to unveil pieces of her dream world in her images.” If you are interested in landscape or editorial photography, this is a great blog to follow. She also offers an “ask me anything” section so you can learn more about her style and inspiration.

Street Photographers on Tumblr

Street Photographers on Tumblr

If you are interested in street photography, check out this collection. This blog is dedicated to reblogging the best street photography across Tumblr. By following Street Photographers on Tumblr, you can see the best street photography images without needing to follow multiple artists.

Sam Shatsky

Sam Shatsky

Sam Shatsky is a self-taught adventure photographer from the Pacific Northwest. His work “focuses on the unconventional side of photography, creating unique and abstract travel scenery focusing on a wide range of subjects, compositions and environments.” By following his blog, you will find inspiration for moody and edgy shots of nature.

Yuji Hirai

Yuji Hirai

Yuji Hirai is an Osaka-based photographer who focuses on travel and lifestyle shots. He uses his work to attract overseas visitors to travel to Japan. His blog is a great example of how you can use photographs to capture a feeling and inspire action.

Uwhe-arts

Uwhe-arts
This blog is the portfolio of German photographer Uwe Heinze. As you scroll through his collection, you will get a feel for the interesting perspective of this landscape and nature photographer. Following photographers who offer many different styles can help you expand your own perspective.

Steven Scarcello

Steven Scarcello

Steven Scarcello is a landscape photographer with an impressive portfolio. His work mainly focuses on rugged scenes. If you are looking to capture natural vistas, follow his blog for inspiration on framing the wilderness.

Good Morning, Hypocrite

Good Morning Hypocrite

Vinnie is a pilot who also captures interesting scenes on his travels. Use the “ask me anything” section to learn how he captures his shots and where he finds inspiration. His Good Morning, Hypocrite portfolio is mainly focused on nature and landscape photography.

Kelsey Lorene

Kelsey Lorene

Kelsey Lorene uses both a camera and her iPhone to capture the images on her blog. Her work shows that black and white photographs can be used to emphasize the story behind the image. Browse her portfolio for inspiration or use the “ask” section to learn more about her work.

El Oso Con Botas

El Oso Con Botas

Breaking away from the landscape and portrait photography we’ve focused on so far, this blog showcases compelling food photography. Scroll through the archive of El Oso Con Botas to find inspiration for staging and capturing images of food that make you want to reach through the image and take a bite.

Toma EvsuVdo

Toma EvsuVdo

Toma is a Russian-based photographer who specializes in food, portraits, and travel. If you also don’t want to box your own photography into one category, this is an inspiring blog to follow.

Rachel Anthoney

Rachel Anthoney

Rachel is a semi-amateur photographer who enjoys capturing nature and exterior shots. She offers a portfolio with the story behind each image, which is a great resource for learning about her captures. Connect with the photographer to learn even more about her style.

Ikinuki

Ikinuki

The blog Ikinuki describes itself as “day-to-day ordinary” images. But as you scroll through the portfolio, you will soon realize that the ordinary can still make extraordinary shots. Use this blog to remind yourself that great images can come from anywhere.

PWH3

PWH3

PWH3 focuses his work on the streets of New York. PHW3 is very transparent about his work. He explains, “I have used a variety of cameras over the years and still use different cameras for different situations. Depending on where I’m going, I’ll bring along a Lumix GX1, Lumix G3 or an Olympus EM-10. I also use a Nikon D5100 and a Nikon D90.” He also mentions that he enjoys editing his images and this is a great blog to follow if you want inspiration for the post-processing side of photography.

With Wild

With Wild

With Wild is a blog that focuses on nature photography. Use the “ask me anything” tab to ask the photographer questions about how they capture the perfect shot of animals and other natural scenes.

Claudio Blanc

Claudio Blanc

Caludio Blanc captures images of daily life in Buenos Aires. Many of the images are black and white. Browse the portfolio for inspiration on capturing your own interesting images of seemingly ordinary tasks.

Dithymy&Karen

Dithymy&Karen

This blog is a collection of the original photography by Wanwisa Hernandez. Follow this blog to see images of nature, animals, and portraits. Or, ask the photographer questions about their work to help improve your own skills.

Expand Your Photography Inspiration

Feeling inspired to launch your photography career or expand your hobby? Browse the Grid50 marketplace to find the photography and video gear you need to get going! We also offer a selection of resources on photography tips and tricks to help you expand your skills.

Real Estate Photography Guide

The Complete Intro Guide to Real Estate Photography

The Complete Intro Guide to Real Estate Photography

In this guide, we break down the basics of real estate photography, including tips, pricing, and gear recommendations.

Usually seen as a business venture, real estate photography is a genre often suggested for photographers looking to make a living off of their skills. Like all photography, however, real estate photography is still an art form, and it requires practice, solid equipment, and a good eye for real estate to master.

This guide will help break down the basics of real estate photography, as well as provide some insight on how to get started, correct pricing, equipment needed, and tips for success.

What is Real Estate Photography?

As one of the most suggested ways to make a business out of your photography skills, real estate photography is the genre surrounding the real estate industry in which photographers capture images of homes for sale, model homes for building companies, and even some interior design firms.

What is Real Estate Photography?

Image via Fit Small Business

Real estate photography, like all photography, is still an art form, but it is also an important aspect of the real estate industry. This type of photography can be seen as a sales job, just as much as an art. Real estate photography relies on your ability to capture the property while making it look desirable without misrepresenting it.

Real estate photography is a client-based genre, where a lot of your work will be done for a client and you’ll have to focus on getting their vision correct. It’s an important part to mastering real estate photography, as you want to utilize your creative assets like angles and composition, while also providing your client with pictures that represent their vision.

How to Get Started

Like all types of photography, getting started in real estate photography can seem a bit daunting. Once you’ve made the decision to get into the business, there are a few beginning steps you can take to jumpstart your success.

Gathering the proper equipment is the first step to starting your journey into real estate photography. We’ll get to the details in a later section, but you’ll need to invest in a good tripod, wide-angle lenses, flash and lighting equipment, and good image editing software.

Real Estate Photography Example

Image via PictureCorrect

Once you’re comfortable with your gear, it’s time to practice, practice, practice. Like other types of photography, the more you shoot real estate, the more comfortable and better you’ll be at it.

Since real estate photography is a bit different than standard portrait photography or action shots, you’ll have to get used to the shots needed, such as which angles work best, what lighting is needed to highlight the property, and what gear works best for each shot.

Building your portfolio will help you turn your beginner experience into a business. Clients will be looking for examples that showcase your style and eye for the craft. Luckily, there are several options to build your portfolio before you actually book clients. Try taking pictures of your own home, and reach out to friends and family to see who would be willing to let you practice on their property.

Start networking with real estate agents in your area, as well as any real estate photographers you may already know. The best way to build your business is to connect with people in the industry to see how you could meet their needs.

Tips for Success in Real Estate Photography

Real Estate Photography Example

Image via Utah Real Estate Photography

Jumping into real estate photography can be a lot different if you’re used to other genres like portrait or commercial photography. Here a few tips for getting the most out of your pictures:

  • Avoid only taking wide shots. While shooting wide will be important for a lot of your shots, you don’t want to take every shot at an extremely wide-angle. Mixing it up will help you capture the property accurately, so don’t be scared to zoom in a bit. Shooting too wide in every room can create an inaccurate representation of the space because it can create unrealistic ideas of space in the room.
  • Move around. When starting out in real estate photography, your first instinct may be to camp in the corner to capture the whole room in each shot. Don’t be scared to move around and play with different perspective types. One point perspective may capture a room better than two-point in some situations, so do your best to move around and get as many different shots as possible.
  • Focus on your composition. Understanding elements in your photos, and using them to create appealing compositions will help highlight the features of the property you’re photographing.
  • Utilize different heights. A tripod will play a vital role in your photography, and adjusting the height can make a huge difference. Most tripods move vertically, just as they do horizontally, and by taking advantage of this you may be able to capture the room at a more flattering angle from a higher height.
  • Lighting makes a huge difference. Bring your own lighting equipment, and utilize flash when needed. Lighting can make a big difference when representing a space, so be sure to work and get the best lighting for each room.
  • Elevate your exterior shots. Height can make a difference for exterior shots, just like it does in each room. Elevating your shots can do wonders for capturing the exterior of the property. Check out DIY tricks if your tripod isn’t tall enough for what you want.
  • Less is more when it comes to image editing. The most important part of real estate photography is representing the property accurately. Image editing software, like Photoshop, will help polish your photos, but be cautious when editing because you want the photos to look as close to reality as possible.
  • Have a contract with your clients. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re new to the game, it’s easy to overlook the business aspects when you’re excited for a gig. Be sure to agree on the details of the job with your client before the shoot, and have a contract signed before getting to work.

Pricing: What to Expect

Especially when you’re first starting out, pricing can range drastically for each job you do. Small jobs can be in the range from $100-$500, whereas bigger jobs may go up into the thousands.

Pricing is dependent on the real estate market in your area, as well as the price of the property you’re shooting, and the expectations of pictures from your client. Be sure to do enough research on your area when charging clients to ensure you’re getting paid properly for a job.

It’s a good idea to charge by the property size, not the hour, when shooting real estate. Another great idea is to offer different packages for your clients, which will allow them to choose a job that’ll fit their needs, and you’ll get paid accordingly. Consider charging more for extra services, like getting up early or staying late to get exterior shots during the twilight hours.

While pricing in the real estate photography industry can vary greatly depending on the job size and location, the most important thing is to be sure you’re getting paid and your clients feel like they’re getting a good value.

For reference, Fit Small Business’s Real Estate Photography Guide states the following for standard pricing in the California Bay area:

  • Standard Shoot (Properties less than 3,000 square feet): $225
  • Extended Shoot (Properties over 3,000 square feet): $325
  • Estate Shoot (Properties over 6,000 square feet): $425

Recommended Gear

Real Estate Photography Gear

Image via Photography Talk

Having the right gear will help you make the most out of your real estate photography. Some of the gear may seem a bit pricey when you’re deciding what you need most, so be sure to check out the Grid50 Marketplace to look at used options. Here’s a list of what you may need:

  • A good camera. This seems obvious, but there are a few features that may help you get ahead in this field. Any camera that has a flash mount, multiple lens options, and wireless connection for remote triggers will come in handy when shooting property. You’ll also want to pay attention to the ISO settings and color depth of the camera, as these can play a huge role in the outcome of your photos.
  • Different lenses. You want to be as versatile as possible when approaching real estate photography, so it’s best to get comfortable with utilizing multiple lenses.
    • Wide Angle Lens. This is a must-have for all real estate photography. Wide-angle shots are standard for the genre, so you’ll want to have a lens that can get these pictures. For full sensor, 14-24mm and 16-35mm are the most popular choices. For cropped sensors, you may opt for 10-22mm or 12-24mm for the best results.
    • Mid-range zoom lens. Standard exterior shots utilize “normal” zoom lenses. For full sensors, check out 24-70mm or 24-105mm. For cropped sensors, you may like 18-55mm or 16-50mm.
    • Tilt-shift lens. Avoid converging vertical lines that are commonly seen in walls and doors with a tilt-shift lens. A 24mm focal length is most common, and it will get the job done of making sure your lines stay vertical.
  • Tripod. A tripod will be your best friend when doing real estate photography. Since portability and weight aren’t huge factors when looking at tripods for real estate photography (because you won’t have to worry about carrying it around for too long), it’s best to choose a durable, heavy tripod. Tripods are super helpful when getting higher shots, so you’ll want one that’s sturdy and will support your camera.
  • Flash and lighting equipment. Flash diffusion and portable lighting will make a world of difference for your real estate pictures. As a real estate photographer, you’ll want to capture the property with a well-lit, bright, and clear view, so potential buyers get a good idea of everything. Investing in flash equipment, like a flash diffuser, remote flash, and flash mounts can help brighten up the dark spots in your photos.
  • Lens filters. While it’s important to portray an accurate representation of the property you’re photographing, lens filters can help get the perfect shot with better color. You don’t need a ton of filters, but a few can go a long way.
  • Camera pole. This is more useful if you plan to be focusing on a lot of exterior shots. A camera pole can help you reach new heights to capture the perfect angle of your subject.
  • Basic editing software. Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom are great options for editng your pictures. Real estate photography relies on quality editing that doesn’t misrepresent the property, so you’ll want a good editing software to get the job done.

Real Estate Drone Photography

Real Estate Drone Photography

Image via Drones Globe

With drones becoming more popular and easily accessible, drone photography is beginning to be more prevalent in the real estate field. Drones can capture aerial views of the property, which gives potential buyers a good idea of the property before they even visit it.

While drone photography can be cool, it’s not entirely necessary to have a drone to be successful in real estate photography. If you do want to explore drone photography, be sure to look for a drone with RAW image capturing and auto-bracketing to get the most out of your photos.

Recommended Resources

Once you’ve read our article, do a bit more research with the following sources to become a successful real estate photographer:

Let’s Recap

Real estate photography is a great genre to get started in if you’re looking for a way to turn your photography into a business (or you’re super into photographing property). Becoming a successful real estate photographer takes practice, and it’s important to build your portfolio to attract clients.

Focusing on your angles, composition, and lighting will help you get the best shots when you’re taking pictures of the property. To achieve these shots, it’s important to have the right equipment, including wide-angle lenses, a tilt-shift lens, a tripod, and lighting gear. Do your research when it comes to pricing, and be sure to get paid for your work.

Be sure to network with other real estate photographers you may know. Be sure to follow our tips and tricks to become a successful real estate photographer, and if you have any tips for others, share them in the comments below!

Nude Photography

The Complete Intro Guide to Nude Photography

The Complete Intro Guide to Nude Photography

In this guide, we provide an introduction to nude photography, along with tips, examples, and recommended gear.

Nude photography can be seen as an extension genre of portrait photography, and can be used for many purposes including artistic endeavors, commercial use, and educational use. Although this form of photography has been known to cause controversy among creatives, as long as it is executed and handled properly, it can deliver amazing and creative results.

Dating back to the earliest forms of art, the naked human form has always been a subject of interest for painters and sculptors alike. Making its way into the modern world, nude subjects have found a way into photography, as many nude photographers use this genre as a way to explore the human form.

While this genre can seem exciting and even a little bit mysterious to some, this guide will help breakdown the basics of nude photography while providing recommended sources and gear as well.

**Caution: This article features nude photos for the express purpose of photography/art. If you are uncomfortable viewing this type of material, please do not continue on.**

What is Nude Photography?

The basic definition of nude photography is a genre of fine art photography that depicts a human nude as the subject with an emphasis on composition and form.

Simply put, nude photography is less about having a nude model, and more about focusing on the human form. Nude photography is best seen as an extension of portrait photography, and it can deliver stunning results when handled correctly.

Nude Photography 0 6

Image via Smart Photo Courses

Although nude photography can sometimes be viewed as a touchy subject, looking at it through an artistic lens can help alleviate some hesitation towards the genre. Many photographers in this genre view the process as a sensual experience for the model and the viewer, as well as a way to strip down to the bare subject of human emotion.

Nude Photography vs. Boudoir & Other Subgenres

There are many reasons for one to get into nude photography, other than just taking nude portraits. Many nude photographers may want to explore promoting body positivity, using the pictures for educational purposes, artistic endeavors, and even commercial use.

Boudoir

Boudoir

Image via Looks Like Film

This style of sensual and intimate portraiture doesn’t necessarily require a completely nude model, but the principles of exploring human form and creating an intimate connection with the camera are the same. Boudoir is typically done by a subject for an intimate partner to enjoy, and can include costumes, nudity, and semi-nude poses.

Educational

This use for nude photography can help create diagrams and educational resources for analysis. When used in an educational manner, nude photography focuses less on the photograph, and more on how the subject can educate its viewers.

These photographs are typically used for illustrative purposes and are usually labeled for the viewer to understand what they are looking at.

Erotic

Nude Photography 0 1

Image via Wikipedia

This subgenre tends to get a bad reputation for being degrading or bordering too close to pornography, but that’s not actually the case (when done correctly).

Even some of the first photographers explored the use of erotic photography, typically photographing their nude subject with consent for other patrons. It’s also important to note that this subgenre is meant to be sensual, rather than exploitive.

Glamour, Advertising, and Commercial Use

Nude Photography 0 5

Image via Business Insider

Glamour photography is typically what we think of when we see modern semi-nude advertisements. Think Abercrombie & Fitch or Cosmopolitan advertising campaigns, where the subject is alluring, but the model is never completely nude. This is used frequently in modern day marketing, which adds a commercial section for nude photographers to work in.

Nude Photography Examples

With the basic definition and subgenres of nude photography in mind, take a look at some of these examples to help you get started:

Nude Photography 0 8

Image via Lauren Naylor via 500px

Nude photography doesn’t always mean a full shot of nudity. Subtly alluding to the model’s nudity can create a complex image for the viewer. This shot utilizes a bathtub and steam to conceal and hint at the model’s human form. By leaving the hands, legs, and face visible, the photographer makes sure to keep the subject of the form in tact.

Nude Photography 0 7

Image via Lauren Naylor via 500px

By having your model face away from the camera, you can explore the other side of the human form without revealing too much of your model’s body. This is another way to add a layer of mystery to your photos while also emphasizing the beauty of the human form.

This example also utilizes a dark background with light highlighting the back of the form, which emphasizes this part of the model’s body as the subject of this picture.

Nude Photography 0 10

Image via Lauren Naylor via 500px

Once you get a bit more comfortable, and if your model is okay with it, try moving your shoots outside. This allows you to explore the human form in a new way, and to capture the beauty of the scene around your model. When shooting outdoors, be sure to do it in a secluded area where your model feels most comfortable, and don’t forget to let your model warm up (in clothes) between shots.

Nude Photography 0 9

Image via Jenn via Photo Critic

Lighting can make a huge difference in nude photography. This example shows how this genre can explore the ways lighting affects the human form, as the model’s form is emphasized by the soft light from the window she is facing. Get creative with your lighting, and see what works best for the mood you’re trying to convey.

Nude Photography 0 4

Image via Hans Proppe via Photo Critic

This image illustrates how complex the human form can be, and how it can be used in an abstracted manner to create a photo that requires the viewer to really look at what is happening. By focusing on a nude body, while not emphasizing the nudity but rather abstracting the human form, this example shows how the human form can be utilized for a photo’s composition.

Nude Photography 0 2

Image via Artemisia Artex via Photo Critic

This example of nude self-portraiture shows how you can experiment with the human form while delivering a traditional looking portrait. The traditional studio lighting and framing of the model makes this seem like a normal portrait, and the nude aspect allows the viewer to connect with the human form.

Nude Photography 0 11

Image via Fix the Photo

Once the model and photographer are comfortable with each other, trying out complex poses and different angles can provide nice results. This example utilizes interesting poses as well as monotone colors, which help emphasize the human form.

Nude Photography 0 3

Image via Smart Photo Courses

Working with a nude couple can definitely add options to your shoot. Of course, you’ll have to find models willing to do a nude shoot or find a couple who want a nude photoshoot together. This example shows two people standing hand in hand, but there are endless possibilities for poses when working with two people.

Nude Photography 0

Image via Oliver Vaseechi at Smart Photo Courses

Another example of using a couple for your shoot, this photo shows how it’s possible to create a scene where the subjects are delicately interacting with each other. Again, this photo emphasizes the human form and adds a layer of sensuality without degrading its subjects. To achieve a shot like this, your models must be comfortable with each other and verbal communication is key throughout the process.

How To Get Started With Nude Photography

Getting started with nude photography can be a bit difficult if you don’t know where to begin, but these steps can help you get started:

1. Find a Model

Having a model for nude photography is a bit different than standard portrait models. You’ll need to find a model that is comfortable modeling nude and is interested in shooting with you.

Maybe reach out to previous models you’ve worked with or any friends that have expressed interest in nude photography. Check out any photographers you follow on social media, and if they have a model you think you might want to work with, reach out professionally to discuss a potential shoot.

You can also check out places like Model Mayhem, Model Management, and Musecube for potential models. Just be sure to act professionally and appropriately when reaching out.

2. Get Comfortable With Your Model

Before actually jumping into a shoot, it’s important to establish a connection with your model. Maybe sit down beforehand to discuss ideas, get to know each other a little better, and talk out any awkwardness either of you may be feeling before the shoot.

3. Organize Your Equipment

Shooting nude photography doesn’t require too much fancy gear, but it’ll be helpful for you to know which lenses you plan on using and what props you want your model to work with.

4. Research for Inspiration

You should never copy another artist’s work, but looking through the other portfolios of nude photographers can help inspire your own shoots. See what kinds of poses, lighting, and props you like, and think about ways you could creatively incorporate these in your shoot.

5. Plan Your Shoot

The easiest way to have a smooth photoshoot is to plan ahead. Agree upon your location with your model, whether you work out of an in-home studio, professional studio, or want to try an outside shoot. Have a working idea of pose, props, and what shots you’ll want to get.

6. Get Creative

Try out shots in black and white. Experiment with different props like fabric, flowers, blankets, and bathtubs. Try close-up shots of different body parts, and full frame shots of your model. Just be sure to communicate what you want to try with your model before you actually try anything.

Nude Photography Tips

Like any genre, there are several tricks that can help you get the most out of your nude photography shoots. Following these tips will help you have successful shoots with stunning results.
Black and White Nude Photography

Image via DIY Photography

  • Make sure your model is comfortable. This may seem like a no-brainer, but always keeping a verbal dialogue going with your model is extremely important. You should make sure wherever you’re shooting is warm enough for the model as well because it can get pretty chilly when clothes aren’t involved.
  • Keep your poses simple. Most of the beauty from nude photography is going to come from the human form, so intricate poses aren’t exactly necessary in this situation. You’ll most likely get better shots when your model is relaxed, so the simpler the better.
  • Don’t ignore the details. All of your shots don’t have to be full body nudes. Get creative and focus on different aspects of the human form. Try focusing on the back, stomach, legs, or arms instead of the full frame.
  • Nude photography does not require complete full frontal nudity. Of course, there are instances when you’ll want to get a fully nude shot, but it’s okay to have your model cover themselves with body parts or props. Keeping some of the nudity obscured in shots can help add a layer of mystery to your work.
  • Don’t touch your model. This seems like a bit of a no brainer when working with nude models, especially when trying to create a comfortable space for you and your model, but if you’re used to shooting clothed portraits your brain may be on autopilot mode. Be sure to never touch your model, and work on verbally communicating any ideas or suggestions you may have.
  • Try out black and white. Nude photography is a great time to experiment with black and white photography, since there isn’t really any color from clothing in the shot, and it can deliver some beautiful results. The lighting can really highlight the human form, and experimenting with silhouettes can add mystery to your photos.

Blogs and Recommended Resources

If you’d like to explore nude photography further, we recommend checking out the following resources:

Recommended Gear

Since nude photography can be similar to portrait photography, you can plan on using your standard equipment like studio lighting, lenses, and camera accessories for a shoot.

While most of your typical portrait gear can work for nude photography, there are a few items that will help deliver the best results at your shoots. Try using the gear below for a successful shoot!

  • Longer Lenses (85mm, 50mm, etc). Using these lenses will allow you to get a full-frame body at a distance from your model. If you’re just entering the nude photography world, this is a good way to get comfortable with shooting nude models before getting close with a 35mm lens.
  • Props. Although this isn’t camera-specific gear, it is important to try and get creative using props. These can be simple items like sheets and sheer fabric, or they can be a bit more personality centered like a guitar or flowers. You can get creative with water and body paint, as well, just be sure to talk to your model about their preferences.
  • Lighting reflectors. Studio lighting kits can help emphasize the human form, and using reflectors can also add to your photos.You can also use reflectors to bounce natural light to create a softer effect in your images.

Exploring Nude Photography

Getting into the nude photography world can seem overwhelming at first, but having a full understanding of the expectations of the field including the subgenres, tips, and the recommended gear can help get started.

If you’re interested in exploring this field, be sure to do your research and get creative!

Commercial Photography

Commercial Photography 101: What is it & How do You Get Started?

Commercial Photography 101: What is it & How Do You Get Started?

In this guide, we take an in-depth look at commercial photography. We cover exactly what commercial photography is, examples, tips, and recommended gear to help you get started.

Want to turn your passion for photography into a rewarding career?

Commercial photography is a competitive field, but with the growth of digital advertising, the need for commercial photographers has skyrocketed. If you are already a hobby photographer, you may want to put those skills to use and specialize in commercial photography.

Not only is it a fun and rewarding career, it’s also quite lucrative. This commercial photography guide will cover everything you need to know to get started as a commercial photographer, including the equipment you’ll need, how much you can expect to make, and some tips for shooting better photos.

Read on or use the links below to “jump” to the section you’d like to check out:

What is Commercial Photography?

Nail polish by Ellenllyy

Photo Credit: Ellenllyy via Pixabay

In the most basic terms, commercial photography simply means taking photos for commercial use — think business, advertising, and product photography.

Commercial photography is used by companies who want to promote a product, lifestyle, or brand. Many of the photos you see on popular stock photography websites are commercial photographs.

Commercial photography is used by advertising agencies, marketing firms, tourism bureaus, and small business owners whose goal is to sell their brand using carefully curated photographs.

The Difference Between Commercial Photography & Advertising Photography

The terms advertising photography and commercial photography are often used interchangeably, but there are distinct differences between the two.

ice cream cone by Steve Buissinne

Photo Credit: Steve Buissinne via Pixabay

Both are used for promotional purposes, but with different intent, techniques, and equipment. Commercial photography is used to capture products in the best light possible and is often used in portfolios, catalogs, brochures, ads, and digital marketing. It is all about showcasing a product or brand.

Advertising photography includes elements of commercial photography, but it is much more involved.

Instead of simply capturing a product or brand, advertising shots must tell a story, evoke strong emotions, and persuade the viewer to make a purchase. Commercial shots are usually bright, clear, and simple so that the product can shine. Advertising shots make use of creative props, lighting, and editing techniques that may be highly stylized, bold, or dreamy, depending on the campaign and the motives of the ad.

Beer by Free Photos

Photo Credit: Free-Photos via Pixabay

Both commercial and advertising photography are powerful marketing tools, and while they certainly overlap, they require a different skill set, different tools, and a different budget.

Types of Commercial Photography and Finding Your Niche

product flat lay by marijana1

Photo Credit: Marajana1 via Pixabay

A great way to be successful as a commercial photographer is to specialize and excel at one type of photography. Choose a niche based on your interests and work toward creating a portfolio of your very best shots. Here are some common types of commercial photography to help you narrow down your niche.

  • Product Photography – There is a huge need for product photography across the globe, and talented photographers will always be in demand. Product photographers usually work in studios with controlled lighting, but some product shoots happen outside with natural lighting.
  • Headshots – Headshots are modern portraits that are used for professional profile images in brochures, resumes, websites, and on social media. Traditionally headshots are taken from the shoulders up and can be captured outdoors or in a studio setting.
  • Real Estate and Architectural Photography – Real estate photographers can work in both urban and rural areas and are charged with showcasing a property inside and out in order to make a quick sale. Real estate photographers will use a combination of natural and artificial lighting and a variety of wide-angle lenses.
  • Drone Photography – Drone photography is a very specific type of commercial photography that is often used in conjunction with real estate photography, but is also used by tourism boards and event marketers. Photographs are shot from the air, enabling you to capture buildings or events from unique angles. Drone photography isn’t for beginners, but it’s a fun way to specialize and financially lucrative.
  • Food Photography – It takes quite a lot of talent to make food look enticing in a photograph. Food photographers work almost exclusively indoors, often in a studio setting, but you may be required to shoot on-site at restaurants and commercial kitchens. Food photographers often work with food stylists to make every morsel shine.
  • Fashion Photography – If you have experience shooting people and portraits, you should consider fashion photography. Companies hire fashion photographers to capture models wearing specific brands or engaging in different experiences. Fashion shoots can be outdoors or in the studio, but you should excel at giving direction and posing people on the fly.
  • Workplace Photography – Also known as environmental portraits, workplace photography images will feature people at work — chefs in the kitchen, office workers at their desks, and construction workers using the tools of their trade. Workplace photos are used in brochures, websites, and advertising, and are usually shot on-site.

Commercial Photography Examples

Now that you have an idea of the types of commercial photography you can specialize in, let’s take a look at some examples featuring each type.

Here is an example of classic product photography. This curated image of color-coordinated work-out gear was shot in a studio setting and features several brands:

Dumbells and sneaker by Steve Buissinne

Photo Credit: Steve Buissinne via Pixabay

Headshots are often used by models and actors and should feature a close-up of the model’s facial features, usually from the shoulders up. This headshot was created in the studio against a dark background:

Headshot by John Harper

Photo Credit: John Harper via Pixabay

While real estate shoots consist of many indoor and outdoor images, the front of the building in good lighting is one of the most important shots to capture. This image was shot at dusk with lights on throughout the house for a warm and welcoming glow:

Real Estate image by Pexels

Photo Credit: Pexels via Pixabay

This carnival image was shot with a drone at night so as to better capture the lights and festivities of this colorful scene. Using an image like this is a great way for marketing teams to promote special events:

Festival drone shot by Daria Nepriakhina

Photo Credit: Daria Nepriakhina

Fabulous food photos need precise styling and perfect lighting, which is best accomplished in a studio. In the photo below, notice the props – cherry tomatoes, sage leaves, and peppercorns that compliment the perfectly cooked pizza:

Pizza by Zuzana Gazdikova

Photo Credit: Zuzana Gazdikova

Fashion images are used to highlight clothing, experiences, or products. Images are often created in the studio, but a natural setting can really add to the finished photo. In this photo, the green trees and garden really show off the red dress that the brand is trying to promote:

fashion photography by Zigmars Berzins

Photo Credit: Zigmars Berzins

Workplace photography sessions vary wildly in scope and require a photographer who is willing to always be on the go and prepared for anything. One day you could be shooting an oral surgeon in an office setting, and the next day you find yourself shooting a firefighter training as in the photo below:

Firefighter by David Mark

Photo Credit: David Mark via Pixabay

How Much Do Commercial Photographers Make?

If you are just starting out, you may be wondering how much you should charge as a commercial photographer. Your fees will vary depending on where you live, the scope of the shoot, and whether you need to hire additional contractors to help with the project. According to PayScale, the average salary for commercial photographers is $45,990.

One of the benefits of becoming a freelance commercial photographer is that you can set your fees based on your skills and experience. As your skill and reputation grows, so will your bottom line.

How to Get Started in Commercial Photography

Photographer by S. Hermann F. Richter

Photo Credit: S. Hermann & F. Richter via Pixabay

Assuming you already have a passion for photography, as well as some skill with a camera, becoming a commercial photographer isn’t complicated. As with any new business venture, you will have to spend time creating a business plan, buying the proper equipment, creating a website, and advertising your services.

The very first step will be deciding exactly what you want to shoot and choosing a niche to specialize in. When you are just starting out, you should be ready to shoot everything from breakfast cereal to sports cars, but eventually, you will want to find a niche where you excel and feel comfortable as a commercial photographer.

Choosing a niche will also help you keep equipment costs down, as you will find that what you need for fashion shoots is very different from the equipment needed for real estate photography.

Once you’ve narrowed down your photography niche, you can begin taking steps to find clients and grow your business. Here’s a step-by-step guide for getting started in commercial photography.

Step One: Create a Business Plan

A business plan will help you refine your goals, secure funding, and develop a marketing strategy.

Following your business plan will help you stay on track as you grow your client base, and enable you to make smart, strategic decisions about how to invest in your business and price your services.

Your commercial photography business plan should include the legal structure of your business, a description of your products and services, your target market, key marketing strategies, an operations strategy, and a projection of your income and expenses.

Creating a business timeline as part of your plan will help you take actionable steps to grow your business. Check out Expert Photography for a more comprehensive guide to writing a photography business plan.

Step Two: Secure Funding If Necessary

A successful commercial photographer will need specialized equipment that will require an initial investment. If you have the funds to purchase what you need before getting started, congratulations! If you don’t, you can either purchase your equipment slowly over time or you can obtain a small business loan to help you get started.

Photography equipment is expensive, and it’s a good idea to have backup equipment in case something in your toolkit fails while on a shoot. Make a list of the equipment you think you’ll need to get started, as well as funds for marketing, website creation, etc., and decide if you will need a loan to get your business off the ground.

The Small Business Administration is a great resource for finding financial resources to start your business, and they have offices in each state. Banks and other lenders will want to see a well thought out business plan before funding your start-up costs, so make sure you have that done before you apply for a loan.

Step Two: Purchase Necessary Equipment

To get your commercial photography business off the ground, you will need to invest in cameras, lenses, external hard drives, SD cards, lighting equipment, computers, and editing technology. It can be overwhelming to figure out what you need, and what purchases are the most important. Some items you will need right away, and some you can budget for as your business grows.

Specializing in a niche and following your business plan will help you figure out exactly what you need now and what can wait until you begin to pull in some income. We will go into the recommended equipment for starting out further below, but you will definitely need two camera bodies, lenses necessary for your niche, storage solutions, and a computer with editing software to get started.

Do your research, and buy the best equipment you can afford.

Step Three: Develop a Commercial Photography Portfolio

Showcase your best work in an online portfolio that is dedicated to your commercial photography. You can create a simple website by purchasing a domain name and signing up with a hosting service, or you can hire a web designer or tech-savvy friend to create a portfolio website for you.

Your online portfolio should only feature your very best work, so if you don’t already have commercial clients, you may want to offer your services at a discounted rate so you can showcase samples of your work.

Step Four: Advertise Your Services

Your website will act as a digital advertisement highlighting your best work, but if people can’t find your website, you will have a hard time securing clients.

Additional advertising outlets should include both digital and print and will vary depending on your location and your niche. Start by creating business cards, advertising your website with Google and Facebook, and putting up flyers around your city and town. You should also join your local chamber of commerce to network with small business owners who might need your services.

Recommended Photography Gear for Getting Started in Commercial Photography

camera lenses for commercial photography by TeeImages

Photo Credit: TeeFarm via Pixabay

You could invest hundreds and thousands of dollars in your commercial photography business, but that isn’t usually a wise decision when you are just starting out. The following pieces of gear are the bare necessities for getting started. If you are already a hobby photographer, you will find that you already have some of these items:

  • Two camera bodies – If you have a decent DSLR or mirrorless camera, you will be able to get started with what you have. If it’s time to upgrade, do some research beforehand, and purchase the best camera you can afford. If you are already attached to a certain brand, it makes sense to stick with it, so you can use the lenses that you already own. It’s important to have two camera bodies in case one malfunctions during a shoot. Not having a backup could very well ruin your relationship with your client and crew.
  • A variety of lenses – The lenses you need for your commercial photography business will depend largely on your specialization. Real estate photographers, for example, will want a variety of wide-angle and tilt-shift lenses, and product photographers will want prime and zoom lenses with a wide aperture. Start with the necessary lenses that you can’t work without and make additional purchases as your business grows.
  • SD cards – Keep a collection of SD cards in your camera bag so that you have them when you need them. Two 16GB – 32GB cards should be enough storage for most shoots.
  • Extra camera batteries – Determine how long a battery lasts in your camera and buy enough for a few days of shooting. You should be charging your batteries before every shoot, but having spares is always a good idea.
  • External hard drives – After each shoot, you will want to save your photos to your computer, a cloud-based service, and an external hard drive. If one of these storage solutions fail, you will have a backup ready to go.
  • Tripod – Tripods are a necessity for shooting crisp, clear photos. The tripod you choose should be sturdy and lightweight with a head that is easy to adjust.
  • External flash – You will be using a variety of flash and external lighting equipment for photoshoots, but to get started, you can purchase an external flash for better illumination of your subject.
  • Camera gear bag – You will quickly realize how much equipment you have to carry to your photoshoots. Protect your gear with a dedicated camera bag that has room for your camera bodies, lenses, and tech equipment.
  • Computer with Adobe editing tools installed – You should have a computer that is powerful enough for all of your editing needs. A minimum of 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage should be sufficient to start. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop set the standard for editing tools and are well worth the investment.

Commercial Photography Tips

Once you’ve got things up and running from a business perspective, you can start perfecting your craft and taking amazing photographs for your clients.

  • Use a wide aperture – If you are photographing products, food, or headshots, use the widest aperture (lowest f-stop) that your camera and lens can accommodate. This will showcase your subject while making everything else disappear into a blurred background.
  • Add a tilt-shift lens to your kit – For real estate and interior shots, use a tilt-shift lens to ensure that your vertical lines remain straight. Wide angle lenses will add an obvious distortion to your shots.
  • Always use a tripod – Commercial photoshoots will almost always require a tripod for crisp images. Practice setting up your tripod and adjusting it quickly so it will become second nature on the job.
  • Experiment with every conceivable angle – No matter what type of commercial photography you pursue, the composition will always be the most important element in your shoot. Explore your subject matter from every angle until you find the perfect shot.
  • Practice your craft every day – Commercial photography can be your passion and your career. Get out and shoot every day to improve your skills.

Get Out There & Start Shooting!

Good commercial photographers are in demand all over the world. If you have skill with a camera and an eye for detail, then commercial photography is a great way to take your love for photography to the next level.

Urban Photography Guide Graphic

Urban Photography 101: What is It & How Can You Get Started?

Urban Photography 101: What is It & How Can You Get Started?

In this article, we take an in-depth look at urban photography. We discuss what it is – what it isn’t – and cover examples, tips, and recommended gear to help you get started.

We understand that you’re bursting with enthusiasm to go out and capture some quality urban photographs. We get it; it’s a great genre to practice. But before we free you into the urban wild, we want to ensure you have all the tools needed to go out and survive on your own.

We’ve designed this guide to be fun and educational. So by the end of this article you will have all the knowledge and power required to create incredible urban photographs. So let’s get started…

Read on or use the links to below to “jump” to the section you’d like to check out:

Urban Photography Explained

Urban photography has risen in popularity over the past 10 years. It’s the kind of genre that allows photographers to push creative boundaries and explore the nuances of their environment. In its simplest form, urban photography is the documentation of the urban space.

The urban space tends to pertain to cities that have raw characteristics such as architecture, brickwork, streets, and a well-populated area. A common misconception, however, is that urban photography is the same as street photography; it isn’t. Here’s why…

Urban Photography vs. Street Photography

Street photography is a very broad term for candid photography. Street photography can exist in cosmopolitan cities, smaller towns, and even on the beach. While urban photography is similar to street photography, it is its own genre and focuses on a very specific approach and type of area of photography.

For the most part, urban photography is shot candidly. However many hipster-style brands lend from the urban aesthetic and build it into their fashion and portrait photography.

We should also point out that urban photography is not limited to including people in images.

Urban Photography Examples & Styles

Urban Geometry Photography

Urban geometry photography is especially popular. This kind of work focuses on the relationships between color, shapes, and architecture that all exist within the urban space.

LA-based photographer, George Byrne, is an excellent example of how a person can use the urban landscape to create visually compelling images.

His work is best described as abstract urban photography. As you can see below, his images, do not have an obvious subject, but rather they take different parts of the scene, bring them together, and make a full image from them:

George Byrne Instagram

Source

As you can see from the image below, urban geometry photography completely removes any living subject from the photograph.

Sidewalk Photo

Photo Credit: Dan Ginn

Can you see how the shapes all make an individual contribution to the image?

Let’s break it down…

In the background, the pathway acts as a leading line across the upper section of the photograph. On the center-right of the image, the yellow road marks create a triangular shape that points towards the foreground. The foreground consists only of a simple traffic cone that adds more value to the photograph.

It’s important to notice that each of the three components are not overbearing. None of them “take over” the image. They are very subtle in their placement, but together they’re a powerful force that encourages the audience to stay with the image.

Candid Urban Photography

Person walking next to graffiti

Photo Credit: Dan Ginn

Candid Urban Photography is the style that most resembles street photography. The above photograph was taken in downtown Manhattan, on the outskirts of the more populated areas.

So, what makes this an urban shot?

Firstly, the exposed brickwork of the building gives the image an edgy, rural aesthetic. Combine that with the graffiti and you begin to get an artistic, urban vibe. The human element makes the shot candid, as people are unknowing participants in the photograph, giving it an extra layer and more context.

While the use of bright color is not exclusive to urban photography, having it within the frame makes the photograph pop more, making it more attractive to the eye.

Urban Portrait Photography

Urban geometry photography

Photo Credit: Dan Ginn

This photograph is from a preplanned photoshoot. It’s set in the back streets of London, where you often find derelict buildings that are perfect for creating an urban theme.

Again, the exposed brickwork is a key player in this image. As are the shadows from the metal fencing, that are included to create shapes and drama over the two main subjects. The dark tones add an extra layer of an urban mood, providing a rustic undertone to the urban street style shot.

How to Get Started in Urban Photography

Getting started in urban photography is easy. Unlike other genres of photography where you need a range of equipment, with urban photography all you need is a camera and plenty of ambition.

The best tip to get started is to go out and shoot.

Honestly, the biggest barrier people have with urban photography is having the confidence and motivation to actually get outside and create the images. While you should set high standards for yourself, don’t put too much expectation on your shoulders too soon.

Becoming good at urban photography takes time. It requires a lot of effort, failure, and learning. So what if you don’t create amazing photographs right away? The fact you’re getting out there is

more than what most do, that’s a win in itself.

People walking blur

Source

Also, learn to enjoy the process. In photography, people become so focused on the end goal. In this case, it is, of course, the image. But what about everything leading up to that point? The walking, the of scouting locations, the analysis of a scene, right through to deciding to take the shot?

All of that is important, and it’s fun. If you can learn to enjoy each point of the full process then you will last a long time in urban photography. And in time, the quality will arrive and from that point, the sky’s the limit!

It’s also wise to research the work of other, more established, photographers. Be careful not to just copy their work, but rather, use it as a way to influence your own. A good book for your reading is Urban Photography by Tim Cornbill. It offers a 193-page look at the genre of urban photography.

Urban Photography Tips

Here are some tips and ideas to help you gauge an idea of how to make compelling urban photography.

Know Your Areas

A very important part to capturing great photographs is knowing where to find them. To do that you need to become an expert in the urban parts of your area, and beyond if you intend to travel.

Using Google Maps is a great way of saving locations, making it easier for you to navigate when you get out to shoot.

Google Maps graphic

Source

Also, save locations that you stumble across randomly. The more you know where you’re going, the less time you need to spend on navigation, and the more time you can spend on shooting.

Know Your Camera Settings

Urban photography can move at a fast pace. Because of this, it’s crucial that you can set the right camera settings quickly and easily.

To do this, we recommend shooting in Aperture Priority mode. Don’t be too proud to step of Manual mode, it does not make you any less of a photographer.

Because light changes quickly, only having to focus on the aperture settings means you have a better chance of getting the correct exposure when shooting urban photography.

If you would like to add some motion blur to your images, then set your camera to Shutter Priority mode.

Slow shutter speeds are what’s needed in order to add blur to images. To achieve this, always shoot at a shutter speed slower than your focal length. For example, if your focal length is 35mm, then shoot at a shutter speed 1/35th of a second and slower.

The slower your shutter speed the more blur you can expect in your photograph.

Car blur photo

Photo Credit: Dan Ginn

For sharp images, select an f-stop between f/8 – f/16. This allows for more of your image to be in focus and keeps everything crisp and clear.

Look For Relationships

Looking for relationships is the process of identifying two or more components within a frame that add to your main subject. These components then work in conjunction with one another to make the image more compelling for the viewer.

Here’s an example below with a shot of the Empire State Building:

Empire State Building and American flag photo

Photo Credit: Dan Ginn

Because of its history and size, The Empire State Building is impressive in itself. But there are millions of photographs of the iconic monument, and alone it’s just another photograph of something people have seen before.

But with the American flag, flying high alongside it, the image starts to tell a story. It’s a photograph that highlights the strength of the world’s largest superpower. The American flag flows proudly in front of one of the countries greatest architectural achievements.

That subtle addition to the photograph gives it more depth, especially with the flag being in the foreground and the Empire State Building in the background. This is why looking for relationships within your frame is important. Here’s an exercise for your next shoot…

When you find an interesting subject, before taking the shot, look around the frame and try to identify something that can work well with it and make your image better.

Looks for pairs, juxtapositions (two things placed side-by-side for comparison), for example. If you can’t find a relationship, don’t take the shot and move on to the next scene. This will train your eye to be more observant when shooting.

Know Your Lighting 

When shooting urban photography, you will have to work with the light around you. This is means you will have little to no control over the quality and kind of light available. Most often, you’ll be working with a natural light source.

Knowing the different types of light and what you can do with them creatively will help you take better shots. Here are some different types of light and how you can best utilize them for your photography:

Bright Sun

A bright sunny day, with a clear sky, can be both problematic and advantageous. If you’re planning on doing an urban portrait shoot, for example, harsh bright light is your worst nightmare.

If you place your subject facing the sun, they will struggle to see and start to squint. If you put them with their back to the sun, they will become silhouetted and underexposed in the image. You can use off-camera flash and reflectors to combat this issue, but not every photography has access to these tools or the experience yet to use them properly.

However, for candid and urban geometry, bright light is your best friend. Because of buildings in the area, the bright light will create deep, dark shadows. The contrast between the highlights and shadows makes for some really artistic photography. See the example below:

Dark urban photography

Photo Credit: Dan Ginn

Bright Overcast Day

A bright cloudy day doesn’t offer the most creative light, but it does have other benefits. The clouds act as a huge softbox for the light source (the sun) and create softer, more evenly spread light.

Woman urban portrait photograpy example

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This is the best time to get out and shoot some urban portraits as your subjects will be lit well and you can also incorporate the urban environment without the distraction of harsh light.

For candid shots, you lose the element of creative light. This isn’t a bad thing as your photography should be more dynamic than just highlights and shadows. But you will need to ensure your subjects are really worth photographing, otherwise, you risk having flatly lit, uninteresting photographs…

Bad urban photography example

Photo Credit: Dan Ginn

Shooting at Night

Don’t make the mistake of thinking urban photography is only reserved for day time shooting.

Even if you don’t have an external flashlight, you can still shoot at night. There are plenty of light sources that can illuminate your subjects.

Areas that have lots of neon lighting are wonderful for all types of urban photography. The variation of color, along with a strong subject, creates some of the best urban photography to go out and shoot.

Urban portrait photography

Photo Credit: Dan Ginn

Also, don’t be afraid of bumping up your ISO. Today’s cameras can be set at a high ISO without adding too much grain to your photograph. Even still, don’t be overly worried about grain. For gritty, urban styles, grain can actually be a fantastic addition to your photograph.

Recommended Gear for Urban Photography

Camera settings

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“The best camera is the one you have in your hand”, as the popular saying goes among photographers…

There’s a good argument to say that the quote is correct. However, it’s also true that certain types of cameras will help you to achieve the photographic results that you want.

For urban photography, it’s best that you have something small in size and light in weight. You will be doing to do a lot of walking. Having a big heavy camera and lens will put a lot of pressure on you. The consequence of this is that you probably won’t shoot for long periods or you will risk muscle pain.

Mirrorless cameras are your best option.

They are small but can still produce the same, if not better, quality photographs as DSLRs. Brands such as Fujifilm, Sony, and Nikon all have fantastic mirrorless options that are popular amongst the urban photography community. The most important aspect of your gear is the lens that you use. Here are some of the types of lenses that will suit you best in different circumstances.

Wide-Angle Lens

A wide-angle lens tends to range from 16mm – 28mm. This type of lens is perfect for those of you that want to photograph the urban landscape. It allows you to capture more of the scene, without adding too much distortion to the frame.

City landscape

Photo Credit: Dan Ginn

Standard Lens

A good 35mm and 50mm should be used for your candid urban photography. 50mm tends to create images in the same fashion as what the eye sees. Both a 35mm and 50mm will allow you to have depth and context in your image.

Photo of black and white cadillac

Photo Credit: Dan Ginn

Telephoto Lens

We would advise you not to use a telephoto lens for urban photography. They’re big, heavy, and not well suited to this genre of photography.

If you’re shooting architecture, they don’t allow you to get much into the frame. For candid photography, a telephoto lens is easy to spot and will bring you lots of unwanted attention.

This kind of lens is best suited to wildlife or sports photography, or other situations where the photographer is unable to get close to the scene and subject. This is unlikely going to be the case with urban photography.

Primes or Zooms?

The great lens debate; Primes or Zooms?

On the one hand, prime lenses tend to be sharper, while on the other, zoom lenses provide you more flexibility. With a prime lens, you’re encouraged to get closer to your subject, it certainly makes you think more about your scene and your angle of view. But because a zoom lends you more range, it means you can capture the shot quickly and without as much hassle.

For inexperienced shooters, it’s best to get a zoom lens that ranges from 18mm-55mm (a standard kit lens). But more advanced photographers should opt for a prime lens such as a 24mm, 50mm, and 85mm.

Become a Better Urban Photographer & Have Fun!

Urban photography may be challenging at first for those new to the style. Capturing city buildings, people, and geometric shapes in a visually compelling way and/or in a way that tells a story beyond the picture itself, can take time (just like many other styles of photography).

It takes practice and experience to know what to look for and how to capture the best scenes. Using the tips and knowledge above, though, will help you get started. It’s up to you to take it from there and challenge yourself.

But remember, photography is all about having fun.

Yes, you should take it seriously and always aim for high standards, but if it’s not enjoyable then what’s the point? Put on some comfy shoes, get ready to explore, and start creating some awesome urban photography!

Winter Photography

The Ultimate Guide to Winter Photography

The Ultimate Guide to Winter Photography

Winter is a fabulous time to tackle new photography projects, learn fresh skills, and capture some amazing images, but it does pose a few challenges, especially for the outdoor photographer.

Whether you’re a novice, just learning the ins and outs of your camera, or a professional honing your skills, winter is the perfect teacher. This winter photography guide will help you stay warm, keep your gear in top form, and encourage you to shoot more creatively, despite the challenges of winter weather.

Read on or use the links to below to “jump” to each section:

Winter Photography Tips

Cold weather, harshly reflected sunlight, and snow are just a few of the challenges you’ll face as a winter photographer. Fortunately, none of these issues are deal-breakers — you just need to make a few adjustments to achieve the best results. Here are some general tips for taking better photos in the winter.

Shoot in RAW

Shooting in RAW format allows your camera to transfer all the information from the scene you’re shooting into a file that can be accessed during post-processing.

A JPEG file, by contrast, is a compressed file. The information included in a JPEG file is based on your camera’s settings when you click the shutter. Any additional information that has been gathered is discarded in order to save space.

Edits that are easily achieved with RAW images can be impossible to do with JPEG files.

Because winter conditions can often trick your camera into blowing out highlights, underexposing images, or giving everything a bluish tone, shooting in RAW provides more editing flexibility.

Shooting in JPEG will result in smaller files, but it can be nearly impossible to fix improper white balance or exposure issues in your JPEG photo. Photography Concentrate has a great overview of shooting in RAW versus JPEG, and how it affects the editing process.

Use a Versatile Lens

winter photography

Photo credit: Tara Schatz

When the temperature drops below freezing, the last thing you want to do is to change lenses in the field. Choose a versatile, multipurpose lens that can capture a variety of shooting situations. A 70-200mm works really well for capturing winter landscapes, portraits, and wildlife.

Focus Your Winter Shots Manually

Falling snow, scenes with little contrast, and foggy, overcast lighting will play tricks with your camera’s autofocus. To ensure crisp shots with a focal point of your choosing, switch over to manual focus.

Bracket Your Shots

One of the trickiest aspects of winter photography is achieving the correct exposure. Bright, snow-covered scenes tend to dominate your camera’s meter exposure reading, which will often underexpose your shots.

While you can certainly set your exposure value to +1 to compensate, bracketing exposures while out in the field will give you more choices when it comes time for post-processing. For an in-depth look at exposure bracketing, check out this article on Picture Correct.

Use a Polarizing Filter

Using a polarizer during bright, snowy conditions will reduce glare and add some contrast and drama to your sky.

The most common type of polarizing filter is screwed on to the end of your lens. It provides your lens with additional protection from moisture and damage, and can be turned in the field to achieve many different effects.

Get Out Early

winter photography

Photo credit: Tara Schatz

If you’re hoping to capture a beautiful, snowy scene, your best bet is to head out immediately after the snow stops, or even when it’s still falling.

Snow is a fickle creature, and once it blankets the ground, that snowglobe landscape will quickly turn a dingy grey and be marred by footprints, especially if you’re shooting in urban areas. The Golden Hour, shortly after sunrise or before sunset, is the best time to capture warm winter lighting. For frosty macro photography, head out at first light.

Camera Settings for Winter Photography

winter photography - jamie davies

Photo credit: Jamie Davies on Unsplash

While auto settings are great for snapshots, you will rarely capture winter’s drama without some manual adjustments. There is no time like a long winter to get familiar with your camera’s manual settings.

Sit down and read your manual, take some notes, and practice what you’ve learned. There are no hard, fast rules for which settings work best in a given situation. The best method is to experiment and see what works. Use the following tips as a starting point for adjusting your camera’s settings, but don’t be afraid to play around and have fun.

  • Exposure – We’ve already talked a bit about exposure, and while I definitely suggest bracketing your shots, you should also count on underexposed photos, at least when you’re shooting bright white snow. Use your camera’s histogram and adjust your exposure dial up a bit to compensate.
  • Shutter Speed – Shutter speed depends entirely on the effect you’re after and the conditions you’re shooting in. Fast shutter speeds will stop motion, and they are useful for freezing the falling snow, shooting in windy conditions, and capturing snowsports and wildlife. Gently falling snow may require a shutter speed of 1/150 to freeze motion. Blizzard conditions may require 1/350 or more. Slow down your shutter speed, and snow will appear as streaks of white across the frame, creating beautifully moody scenes.
  • White Balance – Auto white balance in snowy conditions will often lead to photos that are tinged with blue. The easiest way to remedy this is to set your white balance to the shady or cloudy setting. If you’re shooting in RAW, you will be able to further adjust the white balance in post-processing.

Taking Winter Portraits

winter portrait

Photo credit: Tara Schatz

Winter is one of the best times to capture beautiful portraits, provided you plan ahead. The evening golden hour comes early in the winter—as early as 2 p.m. in some locations. Even cloudy days have the potential for magical and moody captures that you wouldn’t normally expect.

Many of the settings for winter portraits will be similar to those for general winter photography, and of course, experimenting is important for achieving your desired results. Here are a few winter portrait tips to help you make the most of the cold temperatures and snowy landscapes.

  • Add some color to your scene. Whether it’s a hat, a scarf, or an umbrella, a little pop of color will add liveliness to what may otherwise be a dull scene.
  • Make use of backlighting. Winter light can be absolutely magical, especially when it reflects on glittery snow. A little backlighting and a shallow depth-of-field will create beautiful bokeh and warm highlights.
  • Keep your model warm. It’s impossible to look or feel relaxed when you’re cold. Encourage your model to dress for the weather, with warm gloves, a scarf, and a hat. Bring along a thermos of hot chocolate, extra blankets, and some packets of hand warmers, just in case.
  • Use spot metering and bracketing. Shooting in winter conditions will likely cause some of your scene to be underexposed. Using spot metering will ensure that the subject’s face is exposed properly, even if the rest of your scene isn’t. Bracketing your shots is useful when the ever-changing light is causing you to question your exposure settings. As long as your model’s face is properly exposed, the rest can be adjusted in post-processing.
  • Have fun. Winter is the perfect time to experiment with playful poses. Ask your models to play in the snow, meander through the forest, or frolic in the park. Snow has a way of bringing out the child in everyone.

Tips for Keeping Warm and Protecting Your Camera Gear in the Winter

laying in the snow

Photo credit: Tara Schatz

Winter photography can be a lot of fun, but certainly not if you’re fingers turn blue, your lens is always fogging up, and you get water inside your camera’s computer.

Keeping your gear protected is just as important as framing that perfect shot, and if you’re not comfortable, you’ll have zero interest in shooting creatively. Here are a few tips to ensure that you love every minute of your winter photo shoot.

Bring Extra Batteries and Keep Them Warm

When the outdoor temperatures drop below freezing, your camera’s battery will drain very quickly. The colder the temperature, the faster your battery will be depleted.

Be prepared with one or two fully-charged batteries, and keep them in an inner pocket so they will last as long as possible. Lithium-ion batteries perform the best, followed by NiCad and NiMH. Avoid alkaline batteries altogether, as they perform very poorly in the cold.

Keep Your Camera Cold and Dry

Most modern DSLRs are designed to work at freezing or below-freezing temperatures without a problem, with the main issue being a quickly depleted battery. The bigger problem will be moisture.

Try not to breathe on your camera when shooting, and if your LCD screen does fog up, use a microfiber cloth to wipe it down. Don’t keep your camera inside your jacket, as the change from cold to warm and back to cold will create additional condensation on your camera.

Lastly, if you are shooting in wet snow or other damp conditions, consider using a heavy-duty plastic bag or a rain cover to protect your camera’s internal components.

Move from Cold to Warm Conditions Very Carefully

When you bring a cold camera into a warm space, moisture will immediately begin to condense onto it, or even inside it. You can prevent this by slipping your camera into a protective bag before you bring it inside.

Let it come to room temperature before you remove your camera from the bag. If your camera does develop condensation or moisture, remove the batteries, and let it completely dry out before trying to use it.

Dress for the Weather

Dressing for winter photography is just like dressing for any winter activity in the outdoors—you need to wear warm layers, wool socks, and sturdy footwear.

Protect your hands with a lightweight pair of touchscreen gloves, followed by a pair of over-mittens that you can take off when you’re ready to shoot. Lastly, tuck a few packs of hand-warmers in your pockets to keep your fingers and your batteries toasty.

Bring a Friend, or at Least a Cellphone

Winter conditions make for beautiful photography, but dangerous driving and hiking conditions. Bring a friend on your photo expedition for double the fun.

If you must go alone, be sure to tell someone exactly where you’ll be and when you’re returning, and don’t forget to pack a fully-charged cell phone in case of emergencies.

Winter Photography Ideas

ray hennessy 170740 unsplash

Photo credit: Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Now that you know which settings to use and how to keep your gear safe in winter weather, here are some winter photography ideas to inspire you to get out and start shooting.

  • Photograph falling snow – It’s true what they say—every snowflake is unique, as is every single snowstorm. Head out in the snow to play with your shutter speed. Slow it down to capture streaks of white, or stop the motion to capture each snowflake in your scene.
  • Sunrise/sunsets – Late sunrises and early sunsets make it easier to get outside during the golden hour. Combined with the warm winter lighting, soft reflections, and clear atmospheric conditions, and you have the ingredients for some amazing sunrises and sunsets.
  • Holiday lights – Light displays can be a backdrop for some very creative shots, whether you’re shooting portraits, cityscapes, or close-ups of your Christmas tree.
  • Shadows – Take a walk in the woods on a bright winter day to capture the shadowy patterns falling across the blankets of snow.
  • Frost – Early-morning frost can be found on foliage and window panes—perfect for macro photography or capturing abstract patterns.
  • Winter Birds – As far as wildlife goes, winter birds are very accessible. Put up a winter bird feeder and practice capturing its visitors. All you need is a zoom lens and a sturdy tripod to become a wildlife photographer.

Recommended Gear for Winter Photography

galina n 189483 unsplash

Photo credit: Galina on Unsplash

Aside from your camera and lenses, your winter photography kit should also include some essentials for keeping you warm and your gear dry. Here are some recommendations:

Gear to Help You Stay Warm

  • Sturdy insulated boots – Warm them up before putting them on, and if it’s really cold, slip some insole foot warmers inside for up to eight hours of warmth.
  • Wool socks
  • Thermal base layers
  • Traction cleats – These slip over your boots for easy walking on icy surfaces.
  • Hand warmers
  • Touchscreen gloves
  • Waterproof over-mittens
  • Balaclava – To prevent frosty breath from building up on your LCD screen.
  • A warm hat
  • Waterproof coat
  • Snow pants
  • Snacks and water
  • Portable first aid kit and emergency firestarter
  • Fully-charged cell phone – Keep this in an inner pocket so you don’t drain the battery.

Winter Photography Gear

  • A waterproof camera bag – Your camera bag should be easy to get into and 100% waterproof. The K&F Concept large capacity backpack comes with a dust-free rain cover, anti-theft zip pockets, and a shockproof design—perfect for photo shoots in all types of weather.
  • A carbon or graphite tripod – Metal tripods are hard to work with during the winter because they become so cold. A carbon fiber tripod will be lighter for easy transport, and your hands won’t freeze while you’re setting it up. If you do shoot with a metal tripod, consider buying tripod leg warmers to keep your hands from getting too cold. Also, make sure you have a quick release plate on your camera so you don’t have to screw and unscrew it from your tripod with cold fingers.
  • A rain cover – You can certainly shoot with your camera inside a plastic bag, but a dedicated rain cover will be much easier to use. Peak Design makes shells in three sizes to protect your camera from rain, snow, and dust while out in the field.
  • A polarizing filter – A polarizer is useful for shooting outdoors in bright sunlight and snowy conditions. It will reduce glare and reflections while adding contrast to your shots. Polarizing filters come in different sizes and screw onto the front of your lens.
  • A camera-cleaning kit – Aside from a small towel and some microfiber cloths to wipe down your lens, you should also carry Q-tips for cleaning your viewfinder, a lens brush for brushing away snow, and a small blower. Don’t ever breathe on your camera to clean it — you will only add moisture to the lens and elements.

Now Go Out and Start Shooting!

Winter is a spectacular time to experiment and grow as a photographer. Extreme weather, beautiful lighting, and of course snow, set the stage for some magical shots and enable you to play with your camera settings, composition, and techniques.

The challenges of winter photography—staying warm, protecting your gear, and shooting properly exposed images can all be overcome with preparedness and practice.

Types of Photography

25+ Types of Photography To Try Today!

25+ Types of Photography To Try Today!

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer, it’s likely that you haven’t experimented in every type of photography. It’s worth exploring different types to discover the ones you like and the ones you don’t. With that said, there are so many different “genres” of photography, it can be tough to know exactly what’s available.

That’s why we put together this massive guide covering over 25 different types of photography. In this guide, you’ll learn what exactly each type of photography involves and what gear you might need to get started. You’ll also find multiple examples for each type, so you can see what others have done and if you might want to try that type out for yourself. Follow along:

1. Abstract

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Abstract photography can result in incredibly-looking shots, but in theory, it can be tough to work. However, there are some easy ways to capture abstract photos.

One option is to move the camera around and give yourself a nice blur. This is easy to do in Shutter Priority mode. In this mode, you can set your shutter speed to 1/10th of a second or slower—offering up a stunning panning blur.

Slow shutter speeds allow a lack of light to work nicely, and minimizing your ISO level allows you to avoid overexposure in your shots. Circular items like flowers can truly shine with something simple like camera wiggling.

When it comes to lenses, variety is nice—but to start out, go with an 18-50mm or 18-135mm and tinker with different focal lengths on the same subject to see what you get.

Examples:

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2. Aerial

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Aerial photography is generally used for capturing properties or city landscapes. Sometimes, an owner will need photos of the property from high above and may need to see if that property is a home, a building, or just land.

When it comes to a camera body, investing in a full-frame camera will ensure you capture a high-fidelity, wide image. Because these photos are taken from high above, you will want a long-range zoom lens – something like a 70-300mm lens is perfect.

You can capture aerial photos from a helicopter or by using a drone. If shooting from a helicopter or plane, make sure to avoid having your lens touch the window pane as that will transfer the vibration of the vehicle directly into the camera. Buying a circular polarizing filter will help reduce any visible haze or glare in your photos.

Examples:

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3. Architecture

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Photographing buildings may seem simple but there are a lot of little things that can determine whether or not your shots come out as you envision them. You have to be sensitive to the direction of light because it can increase contrast and shadows and cause your camera to expose the scene incorrectly.

Architecture photography can also include capturing specific details of a building (inside or out) to show a specific design or pattern.

Going with a wide-angle lens is usually perfect for shooting buildings. A 14mm or 10-24mm are good options if you want to capture a wide space or entire building. A zoom lens can be helpful if you want to narrow in on a specific area of a building.

Examples:

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4. Astrophotography

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Owning a telescope allows you to see the stars and thus see the world in a whole new way.

While just about any DSLR will work in theory, you’ll likely invest in wide angle lens with a wide aperture. This enables you to shoot faster exposures, allowing for better image fidelity and minimal noise. Either a 10mm, 12mm, or 24mm will work fine. A tripod is needed to ensure crisp images, and if you are shooting while hiking, consider a carbon fiber tripod to reduce the weight of your pack.

A remote shutter also allows you to avoid shaking by activating the shutter without a physical button press on the camera itself. In terms of core equipment, you will need a telescope alongside your camera and will also need a T-Ring and T-Adapter to connect the DSLR to the telescope.

Examples:

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5. Baby/Family

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Being able to take photos of a young baby is something that parents look forward to doing. While the first photos of a newborn may be done with a phone, it’s natural to want to take some photos with a higher-end device.

If you want to focus on the baby, using a 50mm will work nicely. For a baby’s eyes, you should avoid using a flash. So be sure to shoot in well-lit environments only.

Examples:

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6. Black and white

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Black and white photography is an art, and seeing a black and white photo adds a sense of timelessness to every photo you take. One of the biggest aspects of black and white photography is the composition of the shot (composition is important in all photos, but with this type, you have far less to rely on). There are no vivid/bright colors to distract from poor composition.

Most DSLRs can shoot in a monochromatic mode and it’s far better to shoot in RAW mode to bring out the highest level of details in your images. Combining black and white photography with something like street photography is a lot of fun and allows you to bring out the beauty of the world.

Examples:

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7. Bodyscape

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A mixture of nude photography and landscapes, a bodyscape photo focuses on showcasing the shape of the human body. The key to bodyscape photography is to have an image in mind since shooting will require extensive planning and meticulous attention to detail. You have to know what you want before you shoot it, and if you have multiple people involved, that adds more variables to the equation.

Depending on what you’re trying to do, a 35mm lens should work at capturing a wider scope of the body, while a 50mm lens will put more attention on one part. Having stark contrast between skin tones and the background is also a way to make bodyscape photos pop off the screen.

Examples:

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8. Concert

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Concert photography, much like any event with arenas or stadiums involved, requires a bit more planning. For both sports shooting and concerts, you’ll want to make sure you know the building’s rules for cameras.

Some venues will ban the use of interchangeable lens-cameras (unless you have a press pass), which limits you to point and shoots.

If you are close to the stage, then a 50mm can be a good choice. For shots of the entire bandstand, then a 35mm is ideal. If you are further away, then go with a 70-200mm lens.

Examples:

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9. Event

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Event photography is incredibly popular and something that a lot of companies do in order to showcase corporate events. Things like trade shows, special dinners, anniversaries, and other celebrations all benefit from having high-quality photos taken.

Environments and their layout will dictate what gear you need. If you plan to take a lot of portrait photos, make sure to bring both a 50mm and a 35mm lens. Going with a wide aperture is usually best. This will allow you to blur the background and make subjects stand out.

Examples:

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10. Fashion photography

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Fashion photography is a great way to capture the action on a runway or capture the stunning beauty of a model showcasing new attire.

There are a few key lenses to consider if you’re shooting fashion. A 35mm prime lens will give you wider-angle shots, while an 85mm is going to be better for closer shots. A 50mm lens is solid too and allows you to bring the environment into your shots.

For versatility, a 24-70mm is outstanding. This focal length allows you to get wide-angle and shorter telephoto shots. A versatile lens like this allows you to capture crisp shots without having to bring a monopod with you.

Examples:

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11. Food

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As anyone who has ever passed by a fast food restaurant can attest, a well-taken photo can make any food look outstanding.

When it comes to food photography, prime lenses are typically your best bet (they can provide more light and detail). A good 50mm f1.4 lens is fantastic and a great way to get a bit of distance between yourself and the food yet still get a crisp shot. A wide aperture will also provide a blurry background, allowing the food to stand out more.

Examples:

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12. Landscape

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Landscape photography is a great option for anyone who likes to travel, hike, or simply be outdoors.

For super-sharp shots, a 14-24mm f/2.8 is a solid choice. This wide-angle lens will allow you to capture an entire landscape. For capturing shots from far away, a zoom lens like a 70-200mm is a good option.

It’s also a good idea to carry a tripod when doing any type of landscape photography, as this will allow you to shoot at slower shutter speeds (to capture details in dark areas, make a body of water look still, or to shoot in the evening or early morning).

Examples:

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13. Lifestyle photography

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Lifestyle photography is all about capturing life and its moments. For example, a family enjoying a picnic or a person playing in a field. All of these things show off just what it means to be human.

Anticipation is a big part of lifestyle photography. If you have someone jumping rope, then you know there will be a jump above the rope. By beginning your shots before the event, you give yourself plenty of coverage and can snag that perfect shot.

While you can use a flash, it is generally better to shoot outdoors with natural light. When it comes to gear, a solid 24-70mm lens allows you to blend both zoom and a low enough f-stop to blur out your background and make subjects stand out.

Examples:

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14. Macro

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Macro photography is the process of taking super-close-up photos. For example, you might capture fine details of a flower’s petals or a person’s eye.

A short macro lens is good for crop sensor cameras, and a 50mm lens at a 2.5 f-stop will allow you to capture crisp images. A 40mm will work as well, and be better if you’re going to be closer to the subject.

Examples:

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15. Medical

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Medical photography isn’t for the faint of heart – but does provide a valuable resource. Medical photos allow for illnesses to be documented alongside surgeries and procedures to remedy them.

For ultra-crisp photos of things like wounds to show damage, a prime lens is ideal. For something like a deep wound, using a zoom lens like a 24-70mm will allow you to get a shot of the wound from far away and then up closer to see the true impact of the wound on the body.

While smartphones may be an easy way to take medical photos in a pinch, they will be unable to provide much zoom in these cases. Depending on your settings, a flash may also be needed if you are documenting something in a dark room or simply need more detail in the shot.

Examples:

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16. Micro

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Microphotography is a highly-specialized form of photography. It involves taking photos using a microscope and requires extra equipment compared to other forms of photography. Normally, a T-adapter is needed to allow you to shoot photos alongside a microscope. You will also need a T-ring to attach the T-adapter to the microscope.

On average, a T-ring will cost about $60 while a T-Adapter costs anywhere from $45 to around $80 on the low end with higher-end options costing $200 or more.

Examples:

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17. Pet

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Cat photos have gone viral many times over and what pet owner doesn’t love taking photos of their pets?

Animals have their own way of doing things and that means you can’t always count on your pet to be the most cooperative subject. If your pet allows you to get up close to them with a camera, then you should be fine with a shorter-range lens. A basis kit lens like an 18-55mm will work fine. You do sacrifice image quality with kit lenses, so if your pet is friendly, then going with either a 35mm or a 50mm should work well.

Examples:

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18. Photojournalist

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Anyone looking to make it as a photojournalist should consider investing in a full-frame camera. If you are just starting out or are at a low-end blog level for journalism, then you can get by with a crop sensor camera. But, make it a good one.

Something like the Canon 77D or Canon 80D will work nicely and won’t set you back too much (relatively speaking). A 24-70mm is a good lens option that provides a decent range in order to cover a variety of situations (your shooting environment and/or subject may change rapidly).

It’s definitely a good idea to invest in good glass since a journalist can never count on having a second chance to take a photo.

Examples:

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19. Portrait

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Portrait photography is one of the most user-friendly forms of photography out there and a great choice for a beginner because it involves shooting still subjects. When it comes to portraits, a prime lens is always a good choice. This type of lens will give you a wider maximum aperture, making it easier to add light to blur out the background behind your subject.

There are a variety of lenses you can use for portraits. A 24-70mm f/2.8 can provide a solid blend of zoom and maximum lighting. If you are shooting in a studio, then a 50mm may be best. This lens will allow you to have consistent results among all of your photos.

Examples:

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20. Product photography

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Product photography is another seemingly simple type of photography to get into. You can typically get started with a basic lighting kit. However, achieving proper lighting on products can be trickier than it looks. A certain amount of staging should also go into taking professional products photos (ex. Adding props or positioning a dress shirt so that the lines flow just right).

When shooting against a backdrop, make sure to set your white balance manually so that colors and tin are consistent across all of your photos.

Examples:

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21. Nude/erotic

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Nude photography can be a touchy subject, but at its core, it is artistic. When it comes to proper gear for nude photo shoots, an 85mm prime lens works nicely and gives you fantastic sharpness. You can also use a 50mm lens and get a fair amount of detail, especially if you have a f/1.4 lens to blur out backgrounds.

A 70-200mm lens is also great to use if you want to bring out the detail of the body itself. Capturing something like goosebumps on an arm or belly can be stunning and easily captured with this type of lens.

If you are shooting someone in the nude, be sure to keep the room warm and comfortable. Setting up a home studio with spot lighting or even using a sharp contrast with something like the body against a black background can be stunning too.

Examples:

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22. Real Estate

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Real estate photography is an intricate art form and something that requires a lot of instinct to do well. Every house is different and if you’re shooting in less than ideal conditions, you have to be very selective with the gear you bring.

Using a full-frame is certainly what you want if you’re in a high-end housing development, and a nice 18-105 lens would work perfectly. This lens gives you both wide angles and can zoom when necessary.

Examples:

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23. Sports

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Sports photography is one of the most popular kinds of photography and also one of the most difficult. The fast speed of athletes, and in the case of team sports like baseball, basketball, soccer,and football, the balls themselves makes it challenging. However, shooting sports can be thrilling, especially when you’re a fan of the sport.

The gear you need will vary depending on the sport, venue, seating, and lighting situation. A flash may not always be permitted, and be sure to get permission from either the event organizer or the arena before bringing a DSLR.

An 18-135mm lens can allow you to get wider shots for things like soccer and football, while also having a healthy zoom range. If you’re going to be in the stands and far away from the action, then a 70-300 lens may be best. If you aren’t sure where you’ll be, then an even more versatile lens like an 18-300 might be perfect.

Examples:

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24. Stock photography

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Stock photography encompasses a wide variety of subjects, so it’s important to have a jack of all trades approach to your gear. Versatility is key and as a result, having something like an 18-135mm or an 18-300mm lens is ideal. This allows you to get pretty much any kind of photo you want (within reason).

An 18-135mm is going to be solid for sports, portraits, buildings, and products. For things that require a bit more zoom (ex. like a sports photo taken from the nosebleed seats), then an 18-300mm would work well at both capturing the entire field and some player action.

Examples:

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25. Street

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Street photography is a fantastic way to capture local culture and the people who make it great. Prime lenses, much like with portraits, are the best overall way to capture the beauty of the subject. They typically provide more light and capture more detail. This can be helpful when capturing details like the cracks in a wall or pavement.

The standard go-to lenses for street photography are the 35mm and 50mm. 50mm is perfect for tighter shots, while 35mm is better when you want to capture more of the environment.

Examples:

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26. Travel

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Travel photography is another popular type of mainstream photography. Everyone enjoys a good vacation and what better way to savor the memories than with high-quality photos?

For family vacations where you want to capture the whole family in the frame, a good wide-angle will work wonders. While most cameras will come with an 18-55mm lens, kit lenses can lack detail and sharpness. For the best results, you should look at using a prime lens.

A 20mm lens with a 1.8 aperture is a fantastic choice. If you want to get a wide variety of shots with a single lens, then either an 18-135mm (on a Canon) or an 18-140mm (on a Nikon) are ideal. These lens ranges will provide both wide angle and telephoto zoom shots, enabling you to capture pretty much anything.

Examples:

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27. Underwater

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Underwater photography is tricky but doable. It is a good idea to take some scuba diving courses so that you feel comfortable when shooting underwater. Diving with someone is also a smart choice, and be sure to learn your equipment above ground.

Underwater, you won’t have perfect visibility and you will need to know where things are within a moment’s notice. When it comes to proper underwater photography, a higher-end GoPro can work nicely, but it will be limited in settings and image quality.

For pro-grade shots, something like the Backscatter Canon 5D Mark IV will work nicely (an underwater camera housing).

Examples:

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28. Wedding

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Wedding photography is another extremely popular type of photography, especially for freelance photographers. Nearly anyone who gets married wants the occasion documented with high-quality photos. Thus, hiring a wedding photographer is considered one of the biggest parts of the planning process.

There are many things to consider if you are shooting a wedding. You’ll likely need to capture a variety of different shots (like portraits and action shots of people dancing) in multiple lighting situations (outside, in a reception hall, etc.). Having a versatile zoom lens or multiple prime lenses will ensure you have the coverage for each situation.

A 50mm f/1.2 is ideal for getting shots of the bride and groom on their own and to blur the background out. Spacial awareness is important too, and if you don’t have much room to work with, a 24-70 f/2.8 lens is an alternative.

Examples:

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29. Wildlife

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Wildlife photography can be a risky game if you aren’t careful. The biggest key to safety is to keep your distance and make sure to use long zoom lenses whenever possible. An 18-300mm lens is fine for getting a mixture of your entire environment as well as animals.

If you know you’ll be quite a distance away, then going with a 200-500mm or 80-400mm lens is great. Image stabilization is a must for wildlife because without it, you will likely have blurry photos.

Examples:

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Picking the Right Type of Photography

Ultimately, what you decide to shoot comes down to personal preference. If you’re the outdoors type, shooting landscape or wildlife photos might be a good fit. If you love music, then maybe concert photography.

You really just need to get yourself out there and experiment with every type of photography you can and decide what feels right for you. There is no right or wrong decision, and experimenting is ones of the reasons why photography is so much fun!

Let us know in the comments below what types of photography you shoot, or if you’re a beginner, what types you’re most interested to try out!