Tutorial

Photo studio

How to Choose the Right Lens

When you’re taking photos in a studio environment, you’ll be using a number of lenses for different purposes. Let’s take a quick look at the three most used lenses in a studio, each specializing in a different area.

  • Portrait Lenses are perfect for taking photos of people. These are usually between 50mm to 85mm in focal length and have wide apertures for those silky out of focus backgrounds. These can also be used for product photographs.
  • Macro Lenses are great for product photography or creative close-up photography. A macro lens can have a focal length of 30mm at times, but this focal length is not really used to a great extent. The reason is that you have to move too close to your subject to get a 1:1 magnification. We recommend getting a macro lens with a focal range of at least 90mm.
  • Wide Angle Lenses can come in handy if your studio space is small and you want to fit in more stuff in your frame. So if you want to take group photos in a studio setting, then a nice wide angle lens will be a great help.

So before you buy any lenses for your studio work, make sure you know what kind of photos you’re actually going to take. Making a decision once you know the kind of work you will be doing is much easier and more economical than blindly investing money in lenses you may never use.

HDR Photography

How to Edit RAW Files

One thing that most studio photographers will tell you is to shoot in RAW format so that you can eke out as much detail as possible from your shots. It is the purest form of data that your camera captures because it is not compressed into a format like JPEG. This lack of compression gives you large file sizes to work with that contain all the information your camera has recorded of your scene. You can then edit this information just the way you want without damaging image quality.

But while many photographers will tell you why you should shoot RAW, they won’t necessarily tell you how to edit the files. That is what this short guide is about. We will discuss some of the best RAW photo editors from two very different companies that you can use today so that it’s easier for you to make your choice.

  1. Adobe’s Giants

Almost naturally, the first pair of programs that come to mind whenever one talks of photo editing are Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom. These have been on the scene for a very long time and have developed a very high reputation. Of these two, Lightroom is the one that specializes in RAW image editing.

Upon opening Lightroom, you’ll see a collection of sliders that you can use to edit your photos. It is very simple to use because of its slider-based interface and will let you adjust every aspect of your photo that you can imagine from the exposure to noise levels. An advantage to using Lightroom and Photoshop is that both are directly compatible with one another, meaning you can tweak a RAW image in Lightroom and bring it straight to Photoshop for further creative editing.

  1. MacPhun’s Newcomers

MacPhun is a company that is relatively new to the scene of the professional-grade photo editing. However, it has become a direct competitor to Adobe’s programs in a very short amount of time. Its two most impressive editors are Luminar and Aurora HDR.

Luminar is a competitor to Lightroom and Photoshop both. It is an all-in-one photo editor that has some serious RAW editing capabilities. Not only does it have a plethora of editing tools, it also makes the whole process of adjusting RAW images very quick and easy. It allows the use of layers, masks, selective adjustments, and lot more that makes it a very serious entry into the world of photo editing.

Aurora HDR, as the name implied, specializes in creating HDR photos. It also has an easy-to-use design that is suited both for beginners and professionals alike. The results produced are natural and very quick. You can download Aurora HDR from this link.

Both Luminar and Aurora HDR are cheaper than Adobe’s programs, and both have the added advantage of providing plugins for Photoshop and Lightroom. So if you already have Adobe’s products and would like to make certain processes easier, you can always use the plugins.

 

Editing RAW photos isn’t very difficult once you get the software that is right for you. The four mentioned here are all great at what they do, so we would suggest you take each one for a trial run before settling on one.

 

Photo studio

Simple Tips to Help Pose Models

One of the toughest jobs photographers who are new to studio photography find is posing models. Taking photos of still products is easier than taking photos of people, especially if you are the one telling them to do what they are doing. But it doesn’t have to be as hard as it may seem at first. Here are some quick tips to help you pose your models easily in the studio or outdoors:

  1. Talk to them and make them feel at ease. Explaining your ideas, communicating, and just talking to your models is going to make them feel more comfortable with you, leading to much better and more natural looking photos.
  2. Look for a mannerism that your model may have. Sometimes these can work out great for a shoot as these are the most natural forms of movement your model is accustomed to. So if your model seems to be adjusting her hair in a certain way, or moving his hands in a specific manner, ask them to hold that pose and see if you can use it.
  3. Simplify the way you do things. Make the background simpler and cleaner. Sometimes all you need to have is a strong facial expression, with everything in the background melting away.
  4. Adapt poses to your model’s physique and natural style. You can take inspiration for poses from online sources and apps, but at the end of the day you have to alter those poses in order to make them fit for the model in front of your lens.

 

Photo studio

Tips to Take Better Product Photos

In this short post, we are going to give some of our tips to take better product photos in your studio:

Use a Neutral Backdrop

The purpose of a product photo is to highlight the product itself, not the scenery behind it. Always try to use a neutral backdrop, like a white cloth, so that the product doesn’t get overpowered by anything else in the image. This doesn’t mean that you can’t try anything else, but just be sure that the actual product is the main subject of your photo.

Use Soft Lighting

Soft lighting is very important for taking good product photos. Harsh light will cause strong shadows to be casted upon the product, altering the way it looks considerably. You need to show the product as accurately as possible, and an ambient soft light will help you do that.

Try Some Creativity

Some kind of products can also be photographed with some creative backdrops. For example, you can use a mirror as the base on which your product is placed for a more interesting image. Other ways to add some creativity to your shots is by trying out different perspectives. You can take an image from the top, or go low.

Using different colored lights can also give a different look to your image. You can even take your product outside and place it in a natural environment. Just remember that whatever you do, your product should ideally remain in its accurate state and not look very different from what it actually is.

Macro Photography

How to Take Macro Photos

Today we will learn some of the basics for macro photography and look at some tips to get you started.

Why Macro:

Macro photography is a great way to capture those tiny details in objects that you otherwise may not see. It’s a way to completely transform an object or part of an object into something of its own. It is also a very fun way to show your creativity and observation as a photographer.

What You’ll Need:

For macro photos, you should ideally invest in a dedicated macro lens. Macro lenses allow your camera to focus much closer to your subject than other lenses, hence bringing out the details that are otherwise ignored.

You’ll also need a tripod for this purpose, but you can work without one as well. Similarly, having a nice ring light can also be very helpful especially if you’re macro lens doesn’t have a very long focal length.

The Process:

The camera settings are the most important part of macro photography as far as we feel. If you don’t have an understanding of the camera settings needed for this purpose, even the most expensive lenses cannot save you.

  • One thing that most beginner photographers fail to realize is that, with macro photography, it doesn’t matter how wide your lens’ aperture is. Because of the very small focusing distance, a lower aperture value will completely blur your image in most instances. To take a focused photo of your subject, you’ll need to close your aperture up to f/8.0 or thereabouts.

 

  • Make sure that your camera is focused at the point you want it to focus at. Even a very slight focal adjustment on the lens can dramatically change the look of your image.

 

  • You also need to keep in mind that a very fast shutter speed is required for macro shots. This is because even the slightest of movements can cause the whole image to get blurry because of the extremely limited field of view.

 

  • Keep your camera’s ISO to a minimum because noise can ruin macro photos very, very quickly.

 

Some Tips and Tricks:

If you don’t have the money to get a macro lens, you can use extension tubes to convert other lenses into macros. Extension tubes increase the distance between the lens and the camera sensor, allowing the lens to focus much closer to the subject. This is a great way to start experimenting with macro photography, especially if you’re not sure whether you really want to invest in it or not.

A tip to make your macro photos look that much more impressive is to be very careful of the background. Remember that, at most times, the backdrop of your macro subject will turn out to be a blend of colors without any details. It’s important, therefore, to make sure that the colors in the backdrop complement your subject and don’t overpower it in any way.

 

Macro photography is a great way to showcase your creative abilities as a photographer, and you should definitely give it a try if you are interested in it.

 

HDR Photography

How to Take HDR Photos

In this tutorial we will see how you can take HDR photos of landscapes or architecture in a few easy steps.

Why HDR:

HDR photos can be very helpful in dealing with tricky exposure settings, especially for landscape photos where the sun might be too bright resulting in the sky being completely washed out. An HDR photo combines multiple exposures for the same photo to provide you with a picture that has everything well exposed, from the sky to the darkest corner of your scene.

 

What You’ll Need:

For taking HDR photos, you don’t need anything specific in your gear. Even budget DSLR cameras are capable of taking HDR shots. A tripod is suggested but not absolutely necessary. However, the one thing you will need to invest in is a top notch HDR image editor for creating the final image. A highly suggested one can be found at hdr software web site.

The Process:

For taking an HDR photo, you need to take multiple bracketed photos of your subject from the exact same angle. A tripod does help in doing this, but you can do it handheld as well if you’re confident about it. Take at least three exposures, one for the highlights, one for the midtones, and one for the shadows. Try to always take your photos in RAW so that you can easily edit them later without losing quality.

Once you are content with your images, open up Aurora HDR, or any other HDR editor of your choice, and merge the different brackets in it. The program will automatically combines all the different exposures and create an HDR photo out of them. You can then edit the final look of the HDR as much as you want, or just use the various available presets.