Category Archives: Photography

Know and Learn More That Focal Length is Best for Headshots

It’s a question often asked by photographers is  “What focal length is the best for headshots?” Though the answer is likely going to be a little different depending on who you ask, here some ideas about which-lenses are the best for the job:

In the video below, Gavin takes close-up photos of the same model in the same studio setup with various lenses, ranging from 24mm up to 200mm, and compares the results. Even if you don’t agree which lens is the best, at the very least, you can get a good glimpse of how the focal length of the lens changes the look and feel of the images you create.

As one of the oldest and most respected names in the business, Olympus isn’t afraid of playing with the big boys. Hand in hand with the brand is the M.Zuiko lens, built to professional standards. Here’s one that covers just about any everyday shooting situation, from landscapes to portraits.

Why You Need a Zoom Lens for Landscape Photography

unduhan (1)If you’re like most landscape photographers. There is certainly nothing wrong with using a wide angle lens, but limiting-yourself to shorter focal lengths might mean you miss out on capturing landscapes in a new, interesting-and-unique way.

There are plenty of reasons why a zoom lens is advantageous for landscape photography, but two of them stand out above the rest: you can get more creative with your compositions, and you can highlight the smaller details of a large landscape.

Creative Compositions

With a wide-angle lens you can get away with the “postcard shot,” or a general, sweeping view of the landscape. But with a zoom lens, it’s imperative that you slow things down, analyze the scene, and concentrate on all aspects of the composition to ensure you’ve got an eye-catching shot. This might mean you examine the lighting to find interesting shadows, explore the beach for textures or patterns that make for a dynamic subject, or zoom in tightly on a mountain peak to make it’s height seem more grand.

Recommended Cameras:

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What’s more, at longer focal lengths, the scene becomes more compressed, meaning, distant features look closer. This means with a zoom lens, the far-off mountain looks larger in the frame, which can totally change the dynamic of the image for the better. You can fill the frame with features of the landscape – a waterfall, a stand of trees, or a cliffside – to name but a few, perhaps even eliminating the horizon, as was done in the image above.

Highlight the Details

When viewing a landscape, it’s easy to forget that within all the beauty of the larger scene there are little details everywhere. Those details can be turned into the subject for your images. A zoom allows you to deconstruct the landscape, finding smaller vignettes to turn into the primary subject of the scene.

In this regard, a zoom lens can help you tell a more detailed story of the landscape. You have more leeway with the perspective: the zoom allows you to look up, look down, and look across the scene, finding interesting vignettes to feature in your images that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to capture with a wide-angle lens. So, rather than having a single image of a landscape from a wide-angle view, you can take viewers on a tour of different aspects of the landscape with zoomed in photos of the smaller details.

By highlighting those smaller details, you’re able to create an image that is perhaps more orderly than one taken with a wide-angle lens. Sometimes, landscapes just have too much going on, and the viewer’s eye has trouble knowing where to focus. By zooming in and simplifying the scene, you might be able to make the viewing experience one that is more pleasant.

Of course, how you photograph landscapes is up to you. After all, photography is an art form, and your personal tastes should dictate how you capture the scene. That being said, don’t discount the value of using a zoom lens for landscapes. You might just find that telling a story via a series of detailed shots is more to your liking than sticking with a wide-angle view. The key is to experiment and develop your personal style along the way. Using a zoom lens will help you do just that.

How to Professional in Winter Photography

What’s the meaning of winter photography? it had been used to 300 days a year sun, beach scenes, happy people walking along promenades or browsing the shops with a distinct holiday feel-about-them.

I was used to popping on a pair of shorts, practically any day of the year, and setting off for a day’s comfortable shooting with fantastic light.

The cold is one thing that puts me off winter photography…my equipment (camera equipment please!) and hands get so cold it is hard to concentrate let alone be creative but I decided to brave the cold winds of the Jurassic Coast for a bit to see what I could find.

Something that struck me about the UK in winter is that there is a constant golden light when the sun is out. It is so low for much of the day that if you position yourself right, you can make the most of this wonderfully natural light.

But what if the rain is coming down and it really isn’t good outside for any sort of winter photography? Simple, shoot indoors!

The first image here is of the Fleet Air Museum in Somerset. Whenever I can, I try to incorporate my photography with a day out for the kids plus something interesting that we can all enjoy as a family.

WINTER INDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – 60TH/SEC F4 ISO 1600 LENS 24-70 @ 60MM

I was really impressed how the Canon EOS 1D Mark III faired in such low, artificial light. These two images were taken hand held at 60th/sec using an aperture of F4. The ISO was set to 1600 and the noise is barely noticeable! They have also had very little in the way of post processing and I was particularly impressed with the depth of field from the Canon EF 24-70 at 24mm.

WINTER INDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY – 60TH/SEC F4 ISO 1600 LENS 24-70 @ 24MM

The next shot is near Lulworth Cove in Dorset…part of the historical Jurassic Coast of England. It was bl**dy freezing but this chunk of England is mighty impressive and I can see myself spending a lot of time here. A couple of Kubotas Image Tools Photoshop Actions used here.

 

WINTER PHOTOGRAPHY – 160TH/SEC F8 ISO 320 LENS 70-200 @ 70MM

Then we have a shot of a sensible man waiting for the pub to open (well, that’s how I saw it anyway). The whole of Dorset has some amazing architecture and cobbled streets dating back centuries and is exactly what I was looking forward to about returning to Blighty after so long away. We have had some great country pub lunches already…

WINTER PHOTOGRAPHY – 160TH/SEC F16 ISO 100 LENS 70-200 @ 155MM

This next shot is a crop from a shot I took as I crossed a bridge near a busy port. The boat was an incredibly bright yellow and the sun had popped out for a bit. The contrast really stood out so I fired a few off…I love digital photography!

How to Makes a Good Photo

images (2)For example, the following image from a recent wedding shot a set up from the start, from an idea when saw the brides hotel bedroom. It was taken with just the camera and lens, nothing else. However, it has been through about 8 or 9 processes in Lightroom and Photoshop to get the end result.

However, a short time later during another semi-posed session, things broke down during the set up but I carried on shooting regardless. The result was me getting one of my favourite shots from the entire wedding day which is 100% natural and has simply been converted to black and white…

It is slightly blurred, a little grainy and overexposed but during the rest of the day and night I didn’t manage to get a more natural shot of the bride and her mother together and to be honest, I don’t think I could have done if I had the whole of the next day and night too!

It shows the bride in a completely natural state when deep inside the nerves are wreaking havoc. For this one moment it is all forgotten, the nerves disappear and she is genuinely being herself.

For me, that makes a photo good…the “naturalness” and emotional aspects of a very simple image. I am having this printed and framed for my office.

A week or so later during a camping holiday with my family, we had an evening of exceptional light so I dragged my kids into a nearby field for some semi-posed stock shots…

…and the next minute things broke down (as they generally do with children) and I quickly snapped this photo before my kids jumped all over me…

Again, it is slightly blurred and grainy and I have just converted to black and white and added a vignette. Once again, for me, natural wins the day and this will become another print on my office wall.

I sometimes feel proud to take a preconceived idea from its inception through to completion regardless of the fact that it is set up and manipulated in post processing. On the other hand, I simply love those fleeting moments that are caught without trying…the ones that you didn’t expect to get but did because you were on the ball with your finger on the pulse (or shutter) at all times.
Then there are the people that wade out into deep water, hang from rock faces or put themselves in danger for that one incredible image. The people that get up at “silly o clock” and drive for miles just to get the perfect light at the right time of year. The people that go the extra mile and do whatever it takes in the vain hope they may shoot a winner! Is that photography?After all, I could set up a shot, with models, lighting, correct camera settings and composition that anyone could come along and shoot with any camera and get a great image. Is that photography or have I just set up a nice scene which can be photographed?

So what makes a good image and who is the judge of that?

Well, anything can make an image good and anyone can be the judge of that! You see, it is still and always will be down to personal preference. Beauty, or the appreciation of art in any form, is in the eye of the beholder and that is certainly the case with photography. Does it really matter how the image was taken? What makes a photographer good?

What about this famous image I came across once again during my research…taken in Vietnam by Associated Press photographer Eddie Adams?

I have seen this image over and over ever since I got into photography many moons ago and have often studied it for ages over the years…

What was going through the mind of the executioner or the “VC”? Why did this happen? What is the story?

Adams said that he simply thought Lt. Colonel Nguyen Ngoc Loan was going to threaten the VC but as he raised his gun, Eddie kept shooting regardless and this image actually shows the point where the bullet is entering the VC’s head! On the pulse or what and once again, an amazing, thought provoking shot taken almost “by accident”.

The reason for me showing this is that the moment was also captured by TV film crews who showed the clip on the evening news but strangely, the photo has received more coverage over the years than the actual video clip ever will…why?

Some of the answers are possibly in this video which is definitely worth a look…

Camera Ready Is The One Thing Tips On Photography

Always Have your Camera Ready One way that got of noticed and remembere when you move in the photography business.

Not only does this let people know you are serious about what you do, it also sticks in their mind that you are a photographer. The main reason for me though is that you never know what you will see or experience on your travels!

Have you ever thought “Damn! I wish I had my camera!”

Not only may that image you get be useful for your website or blog but it may well be in demand at a news agency or even be a top seller for a stock photography agency!

When you finish a job or get in from a long days shooting, get into the habit of charging your batteries straight away, emptying the CF cards, formatting them and cleaning the camera and lenses.

Have everything ready, neatly put away in your camera bag or rucksack, and have it ready to pick up and go…mine stays by the door of the office.

I have been here in Spain for a while now and occasionally I get a call saying “Mr X TV personality is at the local golf course today” or “There is a pile up on the motorway near X town”.

A couple of years ago I was just popping to the shops but still took my camera. Just as I got out of the car I noticed a red scooter up against a brick wall which looked quite cool. I took a quick snap and went about my business.

I uploaded it to Alamy and would you believe it…someone bought it for $176! Not bad for 3 seconds work.

Two weeks later, I was on my way to shoot a wedding and lo and behold, right outside the hotel where I was headed, a Ford Focus decided to commit suicide! No one else involved, no accident…it just blew up. Luckily the owner was fine so I took a whole bunch of pics!

Then, not long after that, my wife came in the office and said there was yet another huge fire on the hills. Normally they are miles away and too far to get to before the excellent Spanish fire-fighters have managed to control it.

However, I took a look and it was so close I could almost smell it. I grabbed my bag, jumped into the car and was on the scene before the fire-engines, helicopters and planes got there!

I am by no means a press photographer but I never look a gift horse in the mouth and have one thing on my mind in situations like this…stock photos and stock video footage! You never know when you are going to get that special image that could earn you a bundle!

One thing to remember when out and about is security. It is best to try to keep your camera concealed and not on display to any unwanted attention. Cameras such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark II are perfect for carrying around as they are small and inconspicuous but have massive imaging power with both stills and video.

How to Cleaning Camera Sensors

The nature of this article does in no way mean that condone the repetition of its contents.

I am by no means an expert and the reason I am writing this short article for All Things Photography is not to make any recommendations or suggestions but simply to point out a few facts and mistakes to avoid.

So to start – The Dirty Sensor – How does it happen?

Many believe that leaving the camera switched on when changing lenses causes the electronic “charge” to act like a magnet and attract dust that way. I am not so sure about this as the mirror and shutter should be closed anyway therefore preventing any dust being attracted to the sensor during this time.

The most obvious reason is probably due to lack of care and attention. Taking the lens off in a clean, wind-free environment is your best bet to keeping things dust-free inside the camera.

Any dust that gets in (and it will) during lens changes will eventually find its way onto your sensor over time and the more you use your camera, maybe more so with longer exposures…who knows!

Above all else, if you have a dirty sensor and want it cleaned, take it to a pro. I was quoted about £60 Sterling by a Canon dealer for the task which is a lot cheaper than replacing the sensor!

So, what happened to me?

I recently shot a small but beautiful wedding at the Ritz Carlton here in Spain. Lovely clear blue skies, a lovely couple (both in white!) and tons of great shooting possibilities.

Cleaning Camera Sensors

Processing was a breeze with bright bold colours and no more spots of dust than normal. (I am of the thinking that I can cope with “healing out” or “cloning” a few noticeable spots away rather that being without the camera for weeks on end whilst it is being cleaned).

However, I had another wedding a few days later and I was shooting a preliminary “pre-wedding” meal near the beach and…HORROR! I hadn’t used the camera or changed lenses since the previous wedding and cannot for the life of me understand where all this dust had come from.

Update: Since writing this I now realise where the dust had come from. I had cleaned the sensor with a blower brush that had been loose in my bag. It had been in hot “sweaty” Spanish weather and constantly inflating/deflating due to being loose and therefore attracting dust inside. That dust had then become sticky due to the moisture which I then sprayed all over the sensor. Beware and look after your blowers!!!

Cleaning Camera Sensors

I looked at the blue sky on the preview screen and it looked like hundreds, no thousands of flies were attacking the coast of Spain! I used my backup camera but also shot a few with the dirty 5D at wide aperture to try and kill the dust.

After painfully processing these images, I decided to have a closer look at the sensor…what a mess! I had another big wedding coming up and needed this camera as my main and had no time to send it away or order a pro cleaning kit (impossible to get in Spain).

Now, my mistake was thinking it was just dust and I knew nothing about cleaning camera sensors. I bought a brand new blower brush which was blown and double checked for oil-free cleanliness before use and then I decided to give just one, gentle sweep across the sensor to try and pull some of it away…doh!
After running around the house swearing and beating up anything that moved (mainly toys and teddies), I came to the conclusion that the camera sensor was dead and I would need to replace it. I thought “what the hell”!All I managed to do was smear the greasy specks right across the sensor making it look like I had just baked a cake on it!

I then decided to use a swab but in my haste, used the wrong solution and just made things worse…by this point I was a gibbering wreck and I couldn’t help but laugh…not!

By now I just didn’t care, so I stuck my finger in, wrapped in a lens cleaning tissue with a few drops of solution on it, and just (still gently) wiped away. I changed the tissue every few seconds until I had got through a whole packet of 25.

Lastly I used a brand new lint free lens cloth and gave it a polish and about 2 hours later…bingo! I studied the sensor under a bright light and it looked almost new (note that…almost new) and I took some test shots.

I aimed at our white wall and used bounced flash with a setting of F9 and 50th/sec and took some shots.

Upon studying the results in Photoshop I concluded that it was no worse than when I first got the camera…just a few specks that I can live with until the wedding season is over and I can send it away for a professional clean!

Now I ran around taking back all the bad language and healing all the toys I had previously beaten up whilst giving a huge sigh of relief.

The moral and purpose of this article on cleaning camera sensors is this…

  • If you have a dirty sensor that isn’t too bad and doesn’t really show up in your photos, live with it and don’t panic.
  • If it is very dirty and you have the time, send it away to be professionally cleaned.
  • If you want to clean it yourself, get the right equipment and follow strict guidelines which you can find all over the internet (I may add my own one day).
  • Lastly, don’t worry about touching the sensor itself, it is covered by a sealed, thin, low pass, glass filter which can also be replaced before you need to worry about the actual sensor.

You will read all sorts of horror stories on the net about cleaning camera sensors…do not be afraid, they are not that bad, just be careful!

Camera Cleaning and Maintenance

It is too easy to come home after a days shooting, whip out the memory card, have a play with your new images and forget all about maintenance of your kit.

If you are like me, anything new that I buy over time (car, motorbike, watch, glasses etc), get cleaned immaculately at least once a day. Then after a few weeks it falls to once a week or so and then just “on the odd occasion” or when they look really dirty.

Because photography is my livelihood, I have to physically make myself grab my camera bag, go and sit somewhere quiet and take a good half an hour to an hour after a shoot to clean every piece of equipment that I have used.

This kit has cost thousands and its cleanliness has a direct bearing on the quality of my images and the longevity of its use. Not only that but as I upgrade my equipment, I may want to sell on my old cameras at the best price.

These are the checks that I make;

Digital Camera Cleaning and Maintenance – Lenses

Obviously take great care when cleaning the glass, it is what makes the lenses so expensive and costly to repair or replace. Use only fine tissue paper and alcohol solutions that are designed for camera optics. Clean both the front and rear elements using a blower brush first to remove any dust particles.

The last thing you want to do is scrape even the smallest piece of dust across your lens.
Make sure you clean the brush or replace it often too otherwise you simply end up smearing minute particles of grease and dirt onto the lens.I also use the bristles of a blower brush to clean in between the moving parts of the external barrel. This prevents a build up of dirt over time and maintains smooth operation whilst helping to prevent dust from entering the internal optics.

Digital Camera Cleaning and Maintenance – Camera Sensor

The most talked about and asked about issue with Digital SLR maintenance is the sensor and the accumulation of dust. If you are altogether unsure of how to go about it, wait until any sensor dust is at a point where it is unbearable (most specs are easily and quickly removed in editing), and then take it to be professionally cleaned.

Damaging a sensor is expensive…

If you intend to do it yourself, just be careful. Set the camera to manual with a 30 second exposure. You will need time to clean the sensor but using the bulb setting (“B”) could be a mistake.

If whilst cleaning the sensor, you accidentally close the shutter you are in danger of damaging the mirror, shutter, sensor or all three. Even if you use a remote release set to “B”, the batteries on the remote could give out and close the shutter prematurely.

With a fully charged battery in your camera and a 30 second delay, you know where you are.

Once the shutter is open, hold the camera up so that the sensor is facing down, and use the blower (without the brush) to blow any dust away from the sensor.

N.B. The camera is held this way to allow any dust to fall out of the camera and the brush is removed in case it touches the sensor and adds grease smears or dust to it rather than removing it.

If the sensor is really dirty, you are able to buy cleaning kits with swabs where you physically touch the sensor to “swipe” away dirt. Again, you need slight of hand and great care to do this so if unsure, seek professional help.

Digital Camera Cleaning and Maintenance – Mirror/focussing screen

Unless I can barely see through the viewfinder (exaggeration), I tend to leave the mirror and focussing screen alone apart from a quick blow/swipe with the blower brush. The only time I would give it more attention is if it were to run the risk of transferring dust to the sensor.

Dust on the mirror or screen has no effect on the final image so any dust you see on these through the viewfinder, won’t affect the photograph (although excessive dust on the screen “may” affect the accuracy of focussing).

Once again, be careful as the mirror in particular is extremely sensitive and easily scratched.

Digital Camera Cleaning and Maintenance – Outer casing

Even though it is mostly aesthetic, it is still important to try and keep the external workings clean. The dirt on the outside can easily make its way inside, particularly if you change lenses often with dirty hands.

I give it a quick once over with the blower brush first and then a quick rub with a lens cloth or dustcloth. I usually do the outer parts before the inner. This reduces the chance of dirt transferring itself inside.

Digital Camera Cleaning and Maintenance – Accessories

Most accessories have mechanical or electronic workings so it is just as important to keep these clean to help with their longevity. For example, the battery contacts in a speedlight or remote switch need a quick clean now and again just to prevent any build up of dirt or even rust.

A failing accessory can be as disastrous as a failing camera in certain situations, especially paid ones.

Digital Camera Cleaning and Maintenance – The Bag

This is something that many people wouldn’t consider but the quickest way for cameras, equipment and accessories to become dirty is if you have a dirty camera bag or holdall.

Dust, dirt, sand and even bits of Mother Nature (leaves, grit etc) are easily accumulated when out and about.

Remove all equipment once in a while and just Hoover/vacuum the bag thoroughly inside and out.

For The Beginner Digital Photography

The way things were going with pricing and technology with regard to digital cameras is the great idea and it’s suitable for digital photography

For people who have previously owned film cameras or simple point and shoot digital cameras, and now as prices start to fall for the more exclusive semi professional DSLR’s, the opportunity to join the rest of us in the exciting world of the DSLR (Digital SLR) is more affordable than ever when beginning digital photography.

This new breed of cameras is quite simply amazing and I sometimes despair when I read reviews and forum comments that air their disappointment when a new camera just released hasn’t addressed the issue of “having to go to the menu” to make an alteration, for example.

When you are reading reviews about a certain digital SLR camera that you wish to buy, please take them with a pinch of salt.

The reviewers are there to delve full on into every possible avenue open for discussion and any of their personal gripes should not put you off.

If all cameras were released with everyone’s whims being catered for, the camera would simply have no room for a viewfinder or a lens because of the hundreds of buttons scattered everywhere. What you need to do, even if you may never use them, is to learn what action each individual button, gadget and gizmo actually does, just in case you happen to need it one day.

Taking a photograph with one of these new cameras can be much more involved than with any other camera in the past, but it is also so much more fun and enlightening! The amount of control that a DSLR can give you when taking your photos means that you can now let your creativity run wild and try new things that just weren’t possible with other cameras.

Some things for you to learn or consider when beginning digital photography are;

  1. How to hold the camera
  2. Using both eyes when shooting
  3. How to capture your subject
  4. Lighting
  5. Lenses
  6. Filters
  7. ISO or ASA settings
  8. Depth of Field
  9. Shutter Speeds
  10. Black and White photography
  11. Using a Tripod
  12. Keep your eyes peeled
  13. Camera viewpoint
  14. Break the rules

For my full run down of each of these subjects, please see our Better Digital Photography for beginners section at All Things Photography.

For an in-depth explanation of what all the buttons and bits actually do on a DSLR, go to;

The Digital SLR Explained

Once you feel ready, maybe you would like to check out our private members photography section where you will accelerate your learning super quick with over 16 hours of video tutorials and an online professional photographer ready to help.

Your Comfort Zone In Photography

One thing that you have learnt over the years and especially so with the photography business is to step out of comfort zone once in a while. It is all too easy for anyone to amble along through life keeping the reigns tightly held back on your hobby>

Life is too hapiness

What holds most people back is the fear of failure or messing up a paying clients’ images coupled with the notion and fear of not “making it” in the world of professional photography. I also read regularly about people “not being quite ready” just yet.

These fears are hard to overcome and there is not much I or anyone else can say to make you feel like the time is right…it is never right! After all it took Thomas Edison 10,000 failures to finally perfect the light bulb (although some credit has to go to Joseph Swan, a British inventor who actually invented the light bulb first).

Regardless, Edison did not stop at failure number one, two three or even 9,000…he kept going and that is the point. You may well “slightly” mess up your first wedding or portrait sitting.

You might get home after shooting the interior of a hotel only to realise that your rear LCD screen when checking images for exposure was on “bright” mode and all your images are underexposed by a few stops.

As long as you have yourself covered by either shooting the wedding for free or promising a re-shoot of a portrait or property shoot should anything go wrong (as well as explaining to the client beforehand that you are a novice), you can only improve and learn by your mistakes. This all starts with getting out of your comfort zone.

This can be quite scary and nerve racking as I myself found out once.

I have a ton of high definition video gear after buying it to shoot various promotional videos and stock videography (as well as family events) so I decided to try and put it to better use.

There has always been a bit of an ongoing feud between wedding photographers and videographers as each generally battles for prime position during a wedding so I decided to try and see it from the latter’s perspective, I would video an entire wedding…something I have never done “for real” before.

After putting up an ad offering to shoot a wedding for free on my website for just a week or so, I had a taker. A young army couple from Plymouth who would be getting married in the wonderful Citadel…a 350 year old British stronghold that is still in use today. It has a quaint little chapel within its grounds and this would be followed by a reception in the 150 year old Duke of Cornwall Hotel.

All I asked was that they pay my fuel prices, my time was theirs in exchange for the opportunity to practice on them….wow, what an experience and I now have a better understanding of what videographers have to go through!

All three venues (Citadel, hotel room on second floor for dinner/speeches and basement for party, dance and “casino”) were just a short drive from each other so not too bad but from the second I set off in the morning, the wedding gremlins starting playing up!

Plymouth is about 100 miles from Weymouth and soon as I set off, the heavens opened and didn’t close for the entire journey. The rain was lashing down and was forecast to stay for the day and even to get worse. Not only that, about 10 miles into the journey, the temperature gauge on my car shot through the roof and my heart sank.

This was an ongoing historic problem with the car’s electrics which I thought were fixed. What happened before was that the instruments would all fail and the car would eventually stall and not start again for hours.

I kept my head down and carried on for 90 miles.

I limped into the hotel car park 2 hours later, turned the engine off, tried to start it again and nothing…zip..nada! It was an hour before I was meant to be at the church and I was stuck with a boot load of gear (3 cameras, three tripods, video lights, sound equipment, 2 camera bags etc) in a dead car…walking was impossible.

Luckily, the photographer called me at that point to introduce himself and after I explained my predicament, he offered to collect me and take me to the church. An hour later(!) I was still waiting…he had been caught in the Easter traffic and had moved 3.5 miles in that one hour…

When he finally arrived, we made it to the church and I had a short while to place two static cameras at key points and lock them down, do a quick sound check and make sure all media cards were running with enough space for the ceremony.

I had the Sony PMW EX1set up near the door to capture the bride arriving as well as much of the ceremony from one angle, I had another Sony HD camera behind the Padre to film the couple during the ceremony with the congregation in the background and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II on a shoulder mount to capture anything else as I moved around.

The bride arrived on time, the ceremony went well and without a hitch and the photographer and myself worked very amicably together (being a wedding photographer myself, I knew the score and kept out of his way).

Then came the fun part.

We had to go through to the back of the church, out through a door into another section to witness the signing of the register. Then we had to make the most of the break in the weather and get up onto the battlements for some nice, portraits etc and then make our way back to the hotel before the bride and groom.

Now, for a photographer, this is simple (or at least it seems that way now). You usually have one camera on the go and everything else neatly stashed in a single bag. Me, I had 3 video cameras, 2 tripods, sound equipment all over the place, a case and a rucksack to contend with.

However, with a bit of cunning planning and forethought during my reccie visit, I managed not only to cope pretty well with the stress and logistics, I was actually ready to leave for the reception before the photographer.

Lugging all that gear from his car to the front of the hotel to grab the couple arriving and then head up two flights of stairs ready for the reception was another story though…I had to get everything set up with another sound check before they made it there…

Still, I got it done and had the cameras rolling ready for the line up and start of the reception. Then came the dance…

Whilst they finished their sweet/dessert, I had to once again pack everything away and make the trip back down two flights of stairs, out onto the main road, along a bit and down into the basement for the first dance and casino/bar.

How To Great and Professional in Photography

images (3)Do you want successful in photography ? whether personally or professionally, can seem like an uphill slog sometimes so how can you make it easier?

The main thing to remember and concentrate on is your mindset! Think like a photographer for long enough and you will become one.

Sounds strange? Well, your mind is the most powerful asset you have and can also be the most destructive. If you continuously think you cannot do something, you won’t…period! If you truly believe in yourself and stay persistent in your efforts, you can achieve anything.

Don’t be put off by naysayers or beautiful portfolios that you come across, be inspired and motivated by them.

Don’t be put off by the sheer number of photographers out there doing business all around you if you are in a built up, busy area. Just understand that it is a huge market and you can easily grab your own share if that is what you want. The more working photographers in your area, the more work that is probably available, see it as a positive thing!

Don’t be put off by all the technical jargon, buttons, features, accessories, upgrade, updates and software out there. Photography is fundamentally simple in its basic form.

Don’t always be put off by the quality of your poorer shots, it MAY be the equipment you are using and NOT you!

Don’t think that you need to invest a fortune in all the latest equipment, you don’t! All you need to start is a camera and a lens. When I got back into (digital) photography in 2003 after a long break from film photography, I was as confused as anyone as to what kit I would now need. I was used to medium and large format film cameras as well as the good old 35mm film SLR’s.

started with just one, simple camera body (Canon EOS 10D), one lens (28-135mm) and one speedlight (Sigma 500ST Super).

I decided that before I bought any more kit, I would have to earn the money for it by just using what I had. That worked well and I soon built up a huge arsenal of cameras, lenses, computers, printers, studio kit etc and still use that principle today.

Learn to control the camera and start to really enjoy photography for what it essentially  is art

When you first get hold of a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera, it can be mighty confusing:

  • What do all those buttons do?
  • Do you need to use them all?
  • Which ones do you need to use?
  • How do you control the shutter speed?
  • What does the aperture do?
  • How can you learn to combine shutter, aperture and ISO to make the best image possible?
  • How do you process the images to really make them pop?

There are so many avenues you can take with photography these days and whilst on a certain “journey” you may discover a new love and talent for a different area such as weddings, portraits, commercial, fashion, nightclub, schools, events, travel or stock. This certainly happened to me years ago in the early 1990’s when I first got started in business with photography.

I was happily travelling around the UK taking photos of villages for a postcard company when a young lady called us (using the contact details on the back of a postcard in her local village) and asked us if we shot weddings. We didn’t but still said yes.

After a few training courses and a ton of practice, we shot that wedding which led to more weddings and even a private shoot with the Princess Royal, HRH Princess Anne, what a buzz and all from the back of a postcard.

We will help you to shoot the best photography you can in whatever area(s) you choose to pursue and we will also to help you to get your work and business seen to ensure that you get the best possible start…we are here to help!

Stay focussed and start to create your own style. Don’t think that just because www.iamthebestphotographerintheworld.com (not a real site at the time of writing) gets a ton of work, EVERYONE likes their style and that you should imitate them. The great thing about photography is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder is your customer, find your OWN market and style.

Start out by simply practicing as much as possible and don’t worry if you make mistakes, even the pros make mistakes believe me! Take your camera everywhere with you and shoot as much as you can, after all, digital is free!

Don’t just take hundreds of shots and delete the poor ones. Analyse WHY they are poor and learn from them. Look at the settings used, look at the light, what went wrong and ask yourself how can you correct it?

The more you practice, the better you will become, guaranteed, and the day will come when you know finally your kit inside out and you will also know how to deal with any situation that arises by making the right adjustments to your camera, lens, composition and lighting. That day is a great day believe me!

I have seen beginners come to our site at All Things Photography with very little knowledge indeed and in just a matter of months, I have seen their work improve dramatically. I have also seen students from our courses (DSLR, Weddings and Stock Photography) go from complete novices, to full, working professional wedding and portrait photographers in just a year!

We are hoping to make ATP Members a friendly community where you will receive as much information and guidance as you need to get you going. Once you have that confidence and ability, we want to help you get established in whatever area of photography you decide to pursue which is why we will also build full access plus members a full page, keyword focussed promotional page at All Things Photography.

The buzz for me is to see people succeed. I have been told far too often that people cannot find a photographer in their area who will help them get started, that is why the ATP and ATP Members websites exist!

I can see a fundamental shift in the way people want to work and live their lives. People are starting to wake up and realise it doesn’t have to be “this way”. Photography is now, more than ever, accessible to everyone and there is no reason why you cannot make a living from it if you so desire.

Whether you want to get out of the rat race and do something you love for a living, or you simply want to enhance what you already know by learning to capture your world in the best way possible, just get out and practice.