Photography Tips for Spring

Spring has sprung, and while some enjoy documenting the dark, mysterious scenes of winter, many amateur photographers feel more confident in the bright, colorful, sunny days of spring and summer. Whether you are snapping photos with your phone or working with professional equipment, expert advice can always come in handy.

One great tip for photography anywhere is the rule of thirds. Many amateur photographers place the subject of their image directly in the center- an approach that is relatively easy but rarely creates the depth and personality that a photograph can express. Instead, try the rule of thirds by imagining a tic-tac-toe grid over your image. The four points where the lines intersect are called “points of power” by photographers, because they lend depth, interest and definition to a finished photograph. Place the focal points of your images on one of these intersections points to give your final products an immediate touch-up.

Another great way to add drama to your photographs is by filling the entire frame with your subject. Take this image by Chris Gamel, for example:

Elephant Close-Up: Thomson Safaris

The elephant’s face takes up the entire image, and in doing so allows the viewer to connect with both the subject and the photographer behind it. Gamel explains: “As she approached, I asked myself what it was that captured my interest. The answer was obvious- an elephant was walking directly towards me… The result is an image with impact that reflects my personal experience.”

Gamel suggests: “Ask yourself what you are taking a picture of. The fewer words you use to answer that question, the better. Once you have identified your subject, fill the image frame with it. Usually, this means getting closer. Fascinated by the dexterity of a local artist’s hands- get closer. Want to capture the look of joy on your child’s face just before she zip-lines through the rainforest- get closer.”

Mother Catalogues Children and Animal Friendships in Russian Countryside

Many mothers will testify to the fact that throughout their busy days they have little time to sit back and enjoy their children or to appreciate the beauty that surrounds them in the form of simple, everyday moments. That is one of the reasons that Elena Shumilova, a mother in Russia, has taken over the internet with her amazing photography. Shumilova, a mother of two in the outskirts of Andreapol, purchased her first camera in 2012 and has been snapping breathtaking photos of her children ever since.

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“Children and animals – it’s my life. I’m a mom with two sons and we spend a lot of time on the farm,” Shumilova said in an interview. When shooting I prefer to use natural light – both inside and outside. I love all sorts of light conditions – street lights, candle light, fog, smoke, rain and snow – everything that gives visual and emotional depth to the image.”

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Shumilova explained that her education in architecture, as well as experience in painting and sketching, have defined her “feeling of photography and composition.”

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“I’ve been shooting every day and processing the images at nights. By autumn I felt I found my own way of approaching photography,” she said.

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View more of Elena’s photographs here.

19 Professional Photography Myths Debunked

Photography enthusiasts all over the world are struggling to launch their careers while grappling with challenges they never thought they’d come across. Professional photographers from across the globe, such as Ray Kam, Thomas Devaux and Neil Krug, have developed their businesses despite such hardships, carving into the industry in their own ways.

Jim Harmer, founder of Improve Photography, host of the popular Improve Photography Podcast, author, and photography enthusiast, compiled a list of 19 myths which he believes must be debunked if you want to give professional photography a real shot:

  1. Being a pro photographer will allow me to work my own hours.
  2. If I charge $75 for a 1-hour shoot, I’ll be making $75 per hour!!!
  3. Getting tons of compliments about your photography means you’re ready to shoot professionally.
  4. Clients will love your photos if you take creative shots.
  5. Second shooters are optional for weddings–even high budget weddings.
  6. Paying for a nice website will bring in clients.
  7. You can earn as much by selling a CD of the images as you can by selling individual prints.
  8. A second body is optional.
  9. Working on a handshake is good for business.
  10. You’re perfectly capable of writing your own contract.
  11. You can avoid learning lighting and buying flash gear by calling yourself a “natural light photographer.”
  12. If you don’t have enough clients, you can do a giveaway on your Facebook page to get things rolling again.
  13. You can become a destination wedding photographer by writing, “Available for travel” on your bio page.
  14. Networking is optional.
  15. Nobody will notice that your portfolio consists of the same 5 people in every shot.
  16. Your portfolio will look great even if the models look average.
  17. People are dying to read your blog.
  18. If you love photography, you’ll love being a pro photographer.
  19. Photography is a growing industry.

Harmer explains each myth in detail, pointing out the potential pitfalls for those who believe them and offering solutions for each problem. View his full article here.

photo by: Hossein Ghodsi

Lincoln Harrision Photography Captures the World’s Beauty

This incredible picture, and many others like it, were taken by amateur photographer Lincoln Harrison. Harrision, 37, spent about 15 hours taking pictures in the Australian outback. He was able to capture these incredible spirals because of the earth’s rotation, which makes it look as if the stars are flying across the horizon.

The location is in Lake Eppalock, in the southern state of Victoria.  As he explained his new passion, “I wasn’t planning on getting into it as a hobby, but a week later I had about eight lenses and all the other goodies. I couldn’t wait to get started. I’ve been shooting at least two or three times a week ever since, mainly landscapes, and star trails when the conditions are right, I’m lucky enough to live not too far from the outback. With no buildings for miles, the sky is so clear and it’s amazing to be able to capture the beauty of the night’s sky on camera.”