- How to Setup a Photo Shoot
- Essential Equipment for Architectural Photography
- How to Print Photos with Lightroom: The Print Module (Video)
Posted: 29 Sep 2013 09:16 PM PDT
This article is aimed at the newbie and those who want to branch out into fashion or people photography. If you’re new to the genre, you need to get a portfolio of work together so potential clients can see what you have to offer.
We are going to presume that you’ve decided what it is you’re going to be photographing along with your idea and theme. I’m going to talk you through an idea for a photo shoot I did in college so I can tell you about how I planned it. I chose a 1940′s style pin-up.
So we’ve chosen our theme 1940s pin-up. Now we need to think about these things:
Say we’ve decided we want to use two models. That’s great, but where are we going to find two models, and how much will they cost? When I was at college, I didn’t have a lot of money, so paying for models wasn’t really an option for me. A lot of people, when making a portfolio, will use their friends or family. This isn’t always the best idea. If they are genuinely suitable for your photo shoot, though, it’s great use a friend or family member. Otherwise you need to find a way to advertise for a model. I used a few internet advert sites to put up a casting call stating I needed a model and describing the shoot. There are also websites where photographers/models/stylists, etc. can upload their portfolios for everyone to view to work on a TFP basis (time for print/digital images instead of money). Working with someone on a TFP basis is great if you’re updating or starting a portfolio; you don’t pay with cash–just your time and photos. It’s a win, win situation for everyone.
Hair and Makeup
So we’ve got our two models who are willing to work on a TFP basis. We now need to find someone who can do their hair and makeup. We can find a hair and makeup artist exactly the same way we found our models: advertise with a casting call or browse the online portfolio sites and ask if they’d be willing to work on a TFP basis. Once you’ve found a hair and makeup artist, send them links to images of the models they’ll be working with and images of ideas you have for makeup. In this case, we would send the makeup artist images of 1940s pin-up girls suggesting we need make up done in a similar way. It’s important to communicate with your team so everybody knows what their role is before the day of the photo shoot.
Again, when finding a wardrobe stylist, advertise and ask. When working with a stylist, however, you may need to spend some money on hiring clothing. As the 1940s theme is a dated and period look, I had a stylist who rented some clothing from a period costume store. Also, when working with a stylist, it’s import to show them images of ideas and who they’ll be working with, including height, clothing size, etc. You can’t afford to have your stylist show up with clothing that doesn’t fit your models.
So we’ve got our team together. It’s now time to decide where we’ll be doing the photo shoot, this is where you may have to start paying for things. If you’re still in college you should be able to use your college photography studio for a photo shoot. If not, there are places that are willing to rent out their studios when not in use at roughly £50 for half a day. There’s also the option of shooting on location; this is what I did. I found an aircraft museum that had plenty of period aeroplanes and military planes and got in touch with them explaining that I would like to do a photo shoot. This museum was kind enough to let me use their premises for free on the basis that I wouldn’t be making any profit from the images. Once I had edited the images, I sent them a few via email as a thank you. I also did this at a period train station. Again, I explained what I wanted to do, that the images wouldn’t be used for profit, and again they kindly agreed. Sometimes it’s simply a case of asking. Not everybody will say yes, but it’s worth putting yourself out there, because in some cases they do.
Now you’ve got your team and your locations; you now need to think about equipment. I was shooting both outdoors and indoors, so I decided to take flashes/strobes with me. They weren’t anything fancy just a couple of speed lights on light stands with shoot through umbrellas to soften the light. Equipment is very important. If you are going to be using something like flashes, don’t forget spare batteries. If you’re going to be taking wide shots and close up shots, make sure you take both lenses. If you’re unsure whether or not to take something, then take it just in case. If you decide you don’t need it, no problem. However if you decide you do need it and have left it at home, you do have a problem.
Let’s do a quick overview:
And that’s it. It can be hard work setting up a photo shoot, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. You’ll find models and stylists in the same position as you–looking to build a portfolio on a budget. Just don’t be afraid to ask.
About the Author:
Posted: 29 Sep 2013 01:56 PM PDT
As with any line of work, having the right tools is essential in one’s ability to successfully accomplish a task and deliver a final product that measures up to professional standards. Photographing architecture and interiors requires specialized equipment, especially when it comes to lenses.
In photographing architecture or interiors, whether it be for the architect, the interior design, the hospitality, or the home builder markets, care must be taken to keep all vertical lines perfectly plumb and true. This requires that the camera be perfectly level. However, frequently one will need to show more ceiling or foreground, and tilting the camera up or down will cause parallax where the verticals will converge upward if the camera is pointed up, or converge down if the camera is pointed down. This is unacceptable. What is required is a special lens that can be raised and lowered to allow for more height or foreground, yet still maintain the level camera position.
Up until the past decade the standard camera for photographing architecture and interiors was the 4×5 technical view camera. This camera had standards that allow for the lens or camera back to be raised, lowered, swung left or right (off axis) and tilted (for optimum depth of field). The 4×5 format was well-suited for architectural photography, as opposed to the more elongated 35mm format of the newer digital cameras.
Since the advent of professional quality digital cameras, most architectural photographers have switched to the professional level digital camera, which is the 35mm format. If money is no object, there are technical view cameras that have digital backs, but they are extremely expensive. If one understands what constitutes a good architectural or interior photograph, one can work around the limitations of the more affordable, yet excellent quality professional digital cameras, such as the Nikon or Canon series.
After shooting with the 4×5 view camera exclusively for over 30 years, I have had to adjust to the smaller and more elongated format of the digital camera, and my clients don’t see the difference. When I find that I really want more space than the 35mm format allows, I just add to the canvas size and layer in the additional spatial content in Photoshop.
Essential Equipment for the Architectural Photographer
One of the most important features in the digital camera for architectural photography is the size of the chip. The camera with the largest chip–or at least a full sized 1:1 ratio to the lens–is imperative. Wide-angle lenses are always required, and one cannot afford the loss of image space when using a camera with a lens factor of anything less than 1:1, which allows for the full use of wide-angle capabilities.
Another helpful feature is automatic exposure bracketing so one can bracket up and down at least two stops from the base exposure. There also must be a manual setting, as that is the setting that will always be used. Most, if not all, of the professional digital cameras that are a full size 1:1 chip ratio will have these features.
As previously mentioned, having the right lenses is essential. That requires perspective control (PC) or tilt-shift lenses. (I personally have never needed to use the tilt feature, however). I use the 17mm Canon tilt-shift, the 24mm tilt-shift, and the 35mm PC lenses on a regular basis. I also use the 28 PC lens occasionally. If one was to have only one lens to start out with, the 24mm tilt-shift would be the most important lens to have. That said, there are many times when the wider 17mm tilt-shift is essential and the 35mm would be very helpful. It may be possible to sometimes work around these scenarios with conventional lenses and correct the parallax in Photoshop. Keep in mind, however, that any correction made in Photoshop will infringe on the image space. The other benefit of using the PC or tilt-shift lens is that one can raise or lower the lens for more sky or foreground, then merge the layers in Photoshop.
It is possible to use older Nikor PC lenses with an adapter to fit your camera. My 35 and 28 PC lenses are the old Nikor lenses (over 30 years old) and they work just fine on my Canon. There is a variation in contrast due to the lack of modern day lens coating techniques, but it is nothing that minimal Photoshop adjustments can’t handle.
Another option that works well, although I have never tried it, is to use a 1.4 teleconverter on the 17 or 24 or 35mm tilt-shift lenses, effectively converting them to the 24, 35 or 50mm focal lengths. There are other advantages as well (i.e. a larger image circle which translates into more coverage and movement with the lenses, with less distortion).
I always use a heavy tripod and a cable release on the camera and lock the mirror in the “up” position to minimize vibration. A tripod head that has flat surfaces on the sides is also very helpful for leveling if the tripod head doesn’t have levels built in.
Always use a small level for leveling the camera or tripod head. Hot-shoe levels are not accurate. Trying to find a level spot on the ergo friendly style of cameras today is impossible, so level the tripod first, then refine the camera angle. Verticals can be more problematic if the tripod head doesn’t have a flat surface on which to place the level. As already stated, there are Photoshop fixes for parallax correction, but it is much easier and less time consuming to get it level in the first place. And, more importantly, any post-production correction will result in cutting off some of the image, which may be very problematic.
Although these tools are essential for architectural and interior photography, the most important tool of all is an understanding of what makes a good architectural and interior photograph. One must understand and be sensitive to what the architect, builder, or interior designer is conveying in his or her design, and then present that design in the strongest possible way. As professional commercial architectural photographers, it is our job to sell our clients’ products.
About the Author:
Posted: 29 Sep 2013 10:49 AM PDT
Numerous photographers are taking advantage of Lightroom for organizing and editing photos. The software makes the process of importing and processing easy and uncomplicated. Yet it can do much more than make your images look their best. The Print module in Lightroom 5 is a powerful, yet often overlooked feature that simplifies workflow. Mastering all of its components gives you maximum control over all aspects of printing. To learn how to get the most out of your prints, watch this thorough printing tutorial lead by Canson Infinity ambassador Robert Rodriguez, Jr:
Rodriguez, who has been printing fine art photography for years, acknowledges that printing used to be a complicated and frustrating experience. It was a multi-step endeavor that required meticulous troubleshooting and fine-tuning. Now, thanks to Lightroom and its streamlined interface, the process is simplified. The Print module is one of the software’s strongest features.
Advantages of Lightroom’s Print Module:
Rodriguez discusses his recommended settings and explains how to use each of the Print module’s features to save time and reduce stress. He also covers shortcuts, paper choice, exporting, creating contact sheets, and choosing specific printer settings. After watching the video, you’ll be ready to get started with making beautiful prints by taking advantage of the tools available in Lightroom 5.
Go to full article: How to Print Photos with Lightroom: The Print Module (Video)
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