Shoot for the Moon

Almost everyone has experienced a “moon-lit night”. This is when a full moon, or nearly full moon, lights up a dark night. You see everything around you fairly well, which is evidence that the small amount of sunlight that the moon reflects is actually quite bright.

Why is this a problem for moon photography? When the moon is so bright and everything itself is much darker, it is impossible to make a photo where both the moon and the subject are clearly visible. Either the moon is very bright and washed out (and everything else is properly exposed), or the moon’s details are well-defined, but everything else is black or very dark. We’ll get to possible solutions in a little bit.

The other problem with moon photography is that it is actually quite small in the sky. Using a normal lens will cause the moon to appear very small in the resulting photo. This will not usually create a compelling image, even if the frame is properly exposed. Of course you can use a zoom lens and take a photo of the moon, but that is usually pretty boring.

So what is a photographer to do? My suggestions are as follows:

  • Plan on photographing a full moon at or near moonrise or moonset, when the moon is very near the horizon
  • Look for interesting subjects that are large (e.g. building or tree size), in a large flat region, and which are visible from a distance of a few hundred feet to a few hundred yards.
  • Research the direction (aka the azimuth) where the moon will rise or set in a given month, and select a subject where the moon will be easily be visible and adjacent to the subject from a distance

OK, you may not be able to easily visualize these ideas, but let me explain what I’m trying to accomplish here. I want you to photograph the full moon near the horizon, from a distance, and with an interesting subject in the frame. The reason I want to photograph the full moon near the horizon is because the light it is emitting nearly matches the ambient light of the rest of the world at that time. That’s because the sun would be directly behind you and it would be illuminating both the moon and your subject equally.

This concept of even lighting only works with the full moon, because during other phases of the moon the moon is either too high in the sky or below the horizon when the sun is behind you.

Now simply photographing the moon near the horizon does not alone make for an interesting image. So now think about making the moon LARGE in the frame, and in combination with an interesting subject. This is the hard part. You obviously will be using a zoom lens for this, so you will be shooting BOTH the moon and the subject from a distance. They need to be very near each other in the frame. This is where a lot of planning is needed. You need a large, unobstructed, flat area for this (i.e. no hills, trees, buildings, etc) so that the rising or setting moon is visible.

Producing Wonderful Canvas Prints

Speedy convenience

If you are considering canvas prints online; take into account that like most other production methods, it’s more convenient and cost saving to have as many pictures processed at one time as possible. Your online service has the capacity to provide you with prints on canvas quickly and effectively. An example of this is that not only can the original photo to be transformed onto canvas, but also the negatives.

Prints for effective gifts

Canvas prints online make unusual and special gifts that are highly appreciated by the recipient. High-quality photos on canvas can be produced from digital photos, with this method of transformation being an easy and effective process. For a professional, it is possible for ordinary photographs to be transposed into a canvas print; using the latest procedures. In the application of the Giclee canvas, the online facility provides the user with an efficient and effective service.

Process versatility

There are various types of canvas prints online available, as well as offline, at reasonable prices, especially when compared with painted portraits. This revolutionary method is ideal for preserving memories, for example, of weddings, special occasions, birthdays and other parties, baby showers as well as special people. In addition, your images can also be used for producing a fine art Giclee.

Material quality

It is not surprising that the quality of the materials used in this process, influence the end result; for instance, the quality of the canvas. The preferred material is cotton without an acid content, enabling a proper and complete absorption of ink. This helps prevent any type of yellow coloured formation. Another factor related to canvas prints online is that care should be taken with the quality of ink used. This can also influence the normal long-life of the process. The color-fastness of the ink must be appropriate to provide resistance to fading.

Special photo selections

When choosing photos for your canvas prints online it is wise to select those produced from cameras boasting higher pixels. This factor ensures that the image quality is not compromised, even should the process include photo enlargements. In the case of a selection for a gift; you will need to determine the best available, meaningful picture of that person(s). It should represent a time or place that is particularly special to them. Your choice of a photograph will be enhanced by a high-resolution and be on the bright side, without any “red-eye” issues, to create a stunning canvas print.

Digital Camera Buying Blunders

  • Buying a camera without testing it. Just like a car, you need a test drive to evaluate its features. When choosing a digital camera, play around with the settings and the features. Test the camera in different lightings and go over the manual to browse the camera’s specifications. This is why it’s advisable to go to the camera store itself to check the gadget for yourself. If you choose to shop online, this option may not be available.
  • Relying on megapixels. While it’s an important camera feature, it isn’t all about megapixels. The higher the megapixel, the clearer the photos are. But you should also include zooming features, the shutter speed, as well as the brightness settings and a lot more other features. Never use megapixels alone to decide if a camera is for you. You’d be surprised that a 7-megapixel camera takes better pictures than a 12-megapixel camera. It’s all about adjusting the settings and using the camera wisely.
  • Cutting down on memory. The normal camera memory cards which are bundled with the cameras are low. Therefore, you should be willing to upgrade the memory to a memory card with higher volume to store more pictures. Some consumers stick to the original memory card and change the settings into a lower megapixel to store the pictures. This is a no-no, because it totally defeats the purpose of having the high-megapixel camera in the first place. More storage= more pictures. Simple as that.
  • Making the purchase without looking around. Even if you are in a hurry to buy that camera you’ve been eyeing for months, you still need a second or third opinion about buying a camera. Look through the features, advantages and disadvantages of the camera that you want. Don’t rely on sales and promotions either. While it may be a good idea to purchase cameras on sale, be sure to check if they’re defective and why the cameras are on sale.
  • Overlooking the warranty. This is the most common mistake when buying a digital camera. More often than not, the camera warranty lasts for a year. For special cases and certain fees, they are sometimes extended for up to three years. Cameras are subject to wear and tear too, so be sure to read up on the important stuff on the warranty card prior to buying it. Read the coverage of the warranty so you know what to do and which parts and services are included.

Insight Into Image Masking

Another masking technique utilizes the transparency of the object (in an image) itself to affect its visibility. This can help you to edit your old images and give them a new look. You can also play around with your new images and create something unique that can be used in advertising, social networking or just for creating a photo album. For masking an object, you can either use a vector or a bitmap image. The technique can be applied to multiple objects or grouped objects as well. Often, business professionals use masking for creating catalogues for various products that they sell.

If you have used other vector illustration applications such as Macromedia FreeHand, perhaps you are familiar with vector masks, which are very convenient for image editing. The layout of a vector mask object crops the underlying objects to the shape of its path, creating a cookie-cutter effect. When a vector mask is created, the Layers panel displays a thumbnail with a pen icon to indicate that it has created a mask of this type. Not only that, you also get the option to customize the color of the masked object and give it a different style altogether.

If you have used Photoshop you are probably familiar with layer masks. Bitmap masking resemble the layer in which the pixels in the image affect the visibility of underlying objects. This technique can be applied in two different ways:

  • By using an existing object to hide other objects – This technique is similar to the way vector masking is applied.
  • By creating what is called an empty mask – Empty, fully transparent or totally opaque masks can help in highlighting or hiding objects in an image. A transparent (or white) mask highlights all the masked objects, while an opaque (or black) mask hides them.

Set Up Canon EOS 2000D or Rebel T7 DSLR Camera

The Battery

The first thing you need to do is to fully charge your battery. Everybody wants to put the battery on and take pictures straight away, but you should really fully charge your battery first. By fully charging and then draining your battery as you use it, use extend the life of the battery. It only takes three or four hours. Then put the battery into the camera at the bottom of the camera. If you look at the battery then you see that there are electrical connectors on one end and there is a Canon logo on the battery, so to put the battery in properly, you have the connectors facing the camera and the logo facing you and it will go in. Like most modern batteries it will only go in one way so if it doesn’t go in very easily then the chances are you have got it in the wrong way around. When it goes in it will click with the clip at the bottom that keeps the battery in and when you want to take the battery out you just undo the clip and it bounces out

The Memory card

The second thing to do is to put in your memory card. Most professionals tend to use SanDisk memory cards because they will offer a lifetime guarantee for the card. It is worth bearing in mind, though, that they will not replace the content on the card. So if you’ve got a 16 gigabyte card and you’ve got 10 gigabytes of information videos and stills on it and then it becomes corrupted they will only replace the card. It really is essential to have somewhere where you can keep these pictures and videos permanently and safely and that usually means an external hard drive. Like the battery, the card has electrical conductors and it has the logo on the front and if you put it this way so that the logo faces you and it goes into the little slot above the battery then you can just slide it in.

Attaching the Lens

The next thing you need to do is put on the lens. The Canon 2000D or Rebel T7 is an APS-C camera which means it is a crop frame camera. There are two types of 35mm DSLR camera – full-frame or crop frame. The Canon EOS 2000D is a crop frame camera which means that the sensor is slightly smaller and cheaper – and so are the lenses. However, it can still take professional quality pictures and videos. This camera will take either EF-S or EF lenses but the recommended lens group for The Canon Rebel T7 is the EF-S group of lenses. When you change your lens, try to keep the camera tilted so that dust and dirt can’t drop into it. This is because the sensor inside of the camera is very sensitive and if it gets dust and dirt on it then it will damage the sensor and affect your pictures and your videos. It is also incredibly difficult to clean. So when you change lens try to do it quickly. On the side of the lens you will see a white square and if you look on the mount ring on the Canon T7, you will see a white dot. You just need to marry those up and turn the lens clockwise until you hear them click together. Once it has clicked it means it is fixed onto the camera and because it is an EF-S lens it is now able to communicate with the camera and so it will help with autofocus and auto exposure.

The Menus

When you want to go into the menus in the camera it is very important to make sure that you are on Manual Mode and the reason for that is that when you press menu button, you get all the menu tabs going across the top. If you were on a different semi-automatic or a completely automatic option then when you press the menu options you don’t get all the tabs going across the top. When you switch on your camera for the first time the screen will ask you to set the date the time zone and the language. The date and time information will be added to the metadata for each image that you shoot. You can change these details by using the cross keys and pressing set. Once you have set the time and date you can set the date format either the UK version or the US version. Oonce you have chosen the one you want you press that again and then you go on to daylight saving time and you go on to the time zone and region once everything is correct you can just press OK. If you want to go back at any time to change the time the date or the language you will find them in SETUP TAB 2.

Format your Memory Card

If you have a new card or a card that you’ve taken from a previous camera, it is really important to format it so that the card and the camera will work together. The way you do that is by pressing menu button and then go to SETUP TB 1 and here you can see the option to format the card. The important thing to remember here is when you format the card you will lose everything – even pictures and videos which you may have protected will be deleted. So you must know that everything that is on the card has either been copied or is something that you don’t want before you format your card. But if you are happy to do that then you click OK and it will format the card and prepare it for use by this camera.

The Dioptric Adjuster

The next thing to do is to look through the viewfinder and to see if what you can see through it looks sharp. If you don’t have 20/20 vision or if you wear glasses then even though the autofocus on the camera gets the picture absolutely sharp, when you are looking through the viewfinder it may look out-of-focus. By using that dioptric adjuster, which is right next to the viewfinder eyepiece, you can change the focus setting to match your eyesight. But remember that if you have the lens on autofocus the camera will automatically focus the image even if it doesn’t look sharp to you.

The Monitor Brightness

If you find the brightness of the LCD monitor either too bright or too dark then you can change that by going to SETUP TAB 2. Click on LCD brightness and choose to either make it brighter or darker. However do remember that the optimum setting for checking exposure on the live view screen is level 4.

The Auto Off Setting

There is nothing more irritating than the camera switching itself off when you are still trying to compose a picture. Whilst it helps to save the battery life it can interrupt your train of thought and slow you down. You can change the length of time it takes for the camera to turn off by going to SETUP TAB 1 and choosing AUTO POWER OFF. Here you see you will have a choice between 30 seconds and 15 minutes and you can disable it completely if you choose. I find that setting it to one minute is a good compromise.

The ISO Setting

The ISO setting manages the sensitivity of your sensor to the light coming into the camera. The Canon T7 will be on auto ISO setting to begin with which is very convenient in most cases. However you will want to control this at some point – not least because the ISO setting has a direct impact on the quality of your image. It is easy to control the ISO by using the Cross Keys. Press the top one labeled ISO and the ISO options will appear on the LCD screen. As a rule of thumb ISO 100 to 400 is suitable for sunny or bright light, 400 to 1600 for overcast or dusk and 1600 to 6400 for low-light and night-time shots.

File Size and Compression

The next thing to consider is the file size and compression ratio the Canon 2000D will shoot a 24 megapixel file and that is a very high quality image. The JPEG compression rate will decide the quality of the image when it’s stored on your memory card and also how many images you can save on your card. obviously it’s best to choose the best compression rate to make the choice go into SHOOTING TAB 1 and go to the top choice which is image quality. I prefer to choose large file size and best compression quality.

Seamless Portrait Editing Idea

Open Your Portrait

After opening your portrait on Photoshop make a duplicate of the image twice by pressing Ctrl + J two times, because we don’t want to affect the original image.

Naming the layers

Edit the upper layer name to ‘High Frequency’ and lower layer to ‘Low Frequency’. Hide the upper layer by clicking on the eyeball icon.

Applying Gaussian Blur Effect

Select the lower layer and go to the Filter and click on Blur then select Gaussian Blur and drag the slider to right to get a slightly blurry effect so that wrinkles and pimples disappear. Now bring back the visibility of the upper layer and select it.

Apply Image

Selecting the upper layer, in our case ‘High Frequency’ go to Image and click on apply image from the drop down menu. When the dialog box appears, select ‘Low frequency’ and for blending mode select ‘Subtract’. The Scale should be 1 or 2 and offset 128. After altering all the values properly, click on OK. You will notice the upper layer turns to grey embossed type. Now change the blending mode of the upper layer to ‘Linear Light’. As soon as you change it your photo gets back to its original appearance.

Selecting Lasso Tool

Now select the ‘Lower Frequency’ layer and the select Lasso tool, change the value of Feather of Lasso tool to 25 or 27. Cover the forehead of your portrait by drawing with the lasso tool. Now go to Filter again and select Blur then Gaussian Blur. Drag the slider to vanish all the spots and pimples over the forehead. When you feel happy with the result, click OK. Now you can cover the areas on chin and cheek by drawing with lasso tool, apply the preset Gaussian effect by pressing Ctrl + F. If you can do it properly, you will get a spotless beauty at the end.

Editing pimples and dark spots

Select the upper layer and pick the Spot Healing Brush tool from tool menu, make the size of brush slightly bigger than the pimple or spot and holding the Alt key click on a spotless area near to the pimple and then release the Alt key and click on the pimple. In this process you will get rid of all the pimples and spots on the face.

Colors Theory

Primary Colors

Many of us know about the primary shades, we all have learnt about them in school. They are the colors that can’t be made by mixing two colors, they are primary colors of a color wheel. While a standard artist color wheel makes use of red, yellow and blue as primary colors many photographers think regarding RBG (red, blue and green) color spectrum.

Secondary Shades

Secondary colors are a result of the mixing of primary colors. On the photographers color wheel, these shades are orange, purple and green.

Tertiary Hues

Tertiary colors are created by combining the secondary and primary shades. For instance, when using the first yellow, blue and red hues wheel mixing the orange and red or green and blue would result in tertiary hues.

Complementary Shades

One of the most common links is between the additional hues. Complementary colors fall in the opposite from one another on the color board. These colors develop high contrast and grab the viewer attention.

Analogous Colors

Analogous hues are next to each other on the wheel. Making use of similar shades create a more harmonious shade scheme and low-contrast.

Monochromatic Hues

The monochromes are usually referred as black and white; monochromatic shades are made from hues of just one hue, for example, several different tones of blue. Monochromatic shades are low in contrast and usually create a soothing look.

Fashion and Portfolio Shoot

Pre-Shoot Planning

  • Step 1: Budget. It’s always best to asses your budget first. You don’t want to start planning, hoping, and dreaming up an amazing concept, only to realize you can’t afford to make it a reality.
  • Step 2: Creative Direction. Now that you know how much budget you have to work with, you can brainstorm your creative direction. A mood board made up of tears is a great place to start. Pulling tears can be physically tearing what you like from catalogs and magazines, taking screen grabs of other websites, pulling past work of your own, or making a Pinterest board. Whatever you do, it’s a good idea to put it into a sharable digital format so you can easily share it with other members of your team. It’s important to review and keep in mind the product you are shooting while you are pulling tears to make sure there isn’t a disconnect from what you are envisioning and the product you have to work with. For instance, you might love the look of a shoot that took place in a sleek modern home, but if your product is bohemian you will have a hard time making that vision successful. After you have assembled your mood board, you can determine if you want to achieve your vision in a studio or on location somewhere.
  • Step 3: Booking. Hiring the right people is just as important as having great product and even more important than a great location in my opinion. Quality talent makes quality photos. If you have best fashion photographers they can make a less than ideal location look fantastic.

For a lookbook shoot, you’ll need to book the following:

  • Photographer: You can’t create a good piece of art without an amazing artist you need professional photographer for model portfolio.
  • Model: Pick someone you think is a good fit for the brand and whom your customer will identify with. A good model knows their angles, what expressions look good on them, how to take direction, and how to look natural. If you don’t pay for a good model, you might end up having to take a few hundred photos to get one you like. A good model will save you time (which is the same thing as money).
  • Stylist: Depending on what you need and what you can afford, a stylist can be an incredibly valuable member of your team. They can help you put the looks together, source accessories, create shot lists, make the product fit flawlessly on set, and assist with creative direction consistent with the outfits.
  • Hair & Makeup: Looking good on camera is different than looking good to the naked eye. It’s worth bringing in a professional who knows hair and makeup for photography; for example, you may want your model to have a smoky eye, but the flash creates shadows intensifying that look. You want a makeup artist who knows how to adjust for lighting to achieve the desired look on camera.
  • Location: If you’re shooting in-studio, you need to book time if the photographer doesn’t already have their own space. If you’re shooting on-location, you may need to acquire permits for public spaces, rent a private dwelling, or get permission to shoot on hotel or other business property.
  • Set Designer and/or Prop Stylist: If you are shooting in-studio and have something unique you want to create, you may want to hire a set designer and/or a prop stylist to bring the set to life.

Pose Like a Model for Photos

The Classic Hands-On-Hip

It’s always a good idea to not leave your hands limp or rogue. Perching one arm on the hip, weight shifted to one side and relaxing your shoulders. This “Teapot” pose is so popular with models, it slims your figure and creates a tall and dignified look that makes the waist appears slimmer. Be sure to position your lifted arm that’s placed on the hip to show off any fancy accessories or nail polish art.

Use the Mirror

Pose in front of your new BFF, the mirror, until you are near perfect at it. Learn your body shape and pick sides and angles you love. Forget about feeling guilty about your vanity, and remember “all is vanity”. Use your imagination and pretend someone else is behind the mirror, camera in hand and snapping away. Keep your feet in check for full-body shots, they are always closest to the mirror and you do not want to appear big-footed.

Go Lower

When sitting your camera height should be well above your eye level and your photographer standing a little far for the best result. This particular technique would show all your features, hair and makeup and also give you the illusion of a more petite, skinny frame.

Photographers often totally forget their own height and shoot from below the model’s eye line and you should never let them do that if you want the perfect photo. The chances that a shot from below help increase the height of subject or create the dramatic heroine shot you may be looking for are slim, and failed results with disappearing chins, weird shadows and dwarf shots are nearly always the end game.

For selfies, keeping your phone lens above your head will capture only your best angles and keep your neck looking elongated and swan-like.

Turn Your Head

If your face is asymmetrical in any way, not to worry you’re in good company. The easy fix for photos is to turn your head a bit when snapping and let the perfect tilt and camera angle hide that crooked smile of yours. Tilting your head is also a great trick for slimming your profile so if you really want to pose like a model, try turning slightly rather than facing the camera head on.

Stand Straight, Chin Out

Let the one thing you do not forget about perfecting your photo posture be to put your best foot and chin forward and stand up straight.

Cameras are only two-dimensional, meaning a photo cannot display its subject in all three dimensions unless it is shot that way purposely. When posing in front of the camera and looking straight at it, pushing your chin out, down and forward can extend your jawline, creating the sharper and stronger facial lines that are associated with model features.

Digital SLR Cameras

  • Do you feel like you want more control over things like shutter speeds and aperture settings. (the camera lens aperture controls the amount of light reaching your camera image sensor. It also controls in part how much of your picture will be in or out of focus)
  • Do you wish you had access to interchangeable camera lenses? The type of lenses that would allow you to take pictures of distant subjects as well as close up shots only an inch or two from the subject?
  • Do you look at pictures in magazines or professional pictures and think to yourself: I can take pictures similar to those but their pictures seem to be of a higher quality.

If you answered yes to all three of the questions then it might be time for you to consider buying a Digital SLR camera. The following reasons are in reference to the 3 previous questions.

  • Digital SLR cameras will allow you to control the shutter speeds you use. You can choose fast shutter speeds to “freeze” action or you can choose slow shutter speeds for dimly lit scenes. You can also control the camera lens aperture setting which can help in blurring backgrounds while keeping the subject in sharp focus.
  • Changing lenses with a Digital SLR camera is easy. Just twist one off and twist and snap a different one into place. You will have the option of purchasing any type lens that fits your particular needs. It can be a super wide angle lens, a super telephoto lens, or a zoom lens with a range that is suitable for you.
  • Digital SLR cameras have larger image sensors than compact cameras. The larger image sensors can absorb more light and record it more accurately than a compact camera image sensor. The larger image sensors along with better quality lenses are the reason professional pictures have that extra crispness and sharpness that you don’t get from a compact camera.

Now I am not saying that a low end Digital SLR camera will give you the same quality as a $5,000 professional Digital SLR camera. However, you will definitely see the difference in quality from just about any Digital SLR compared to a basic compact camera.

Now for those of you who are thinking that a Digital SLR camera might be too complicated to operate, consider this.

All Digital SLR cameras have a Fully Automatic mode in which it operates the same as a basic compact camera. All you have to do is point and shoot. Is that easy enough?

While you are learning how to use the camera, there is also a Program mode which allows you to manually change things like the White Balance and ISO settings. However, even in the Program mode, the Lens Aperture and Shutter Speed are automatically set for you. So you can still take pictures while you are learning.

Now when you get ready to start controlling other things, you can use the cameras’ Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority modes. These are semi-automatic modes.

In the Shutter Priority mode, you just choose the shutter speed you want to use and the camera will set the aperture and other relevant functions. Is that too easy?

If you are more concerned with the camera lens aperture setting, then use the Aperture Priority mode.In this mode you choose the lens aperture setting and the camera will automatically set the shutter speed and other functions to create a correct exposure.

Lastly, there is the Full Manual mode in which you control and set everything. Just keep in mind that even advanced photographers don’t use the full manual mode for every shot. However, the Full Manual mode is there for when you want to use it, whether for creative reasons, or just to make the pictures come out right.

Of course there are other features in Digital SLR cameras. They have extra bells and whistles just like compact cameras. However, the most important thing is to remember that you can start taking better quality pictures even while you are learning how to use your Digital SLR camera.

So if you are already taking pretty good pictures with your compact camera but feel its time to take another step forward, try a Digital SLR camera.