Best Tips for Working With Seamless Paper Backdrops

 

SONY DSCRegardless of whether you are shooting portraits, products, food, fashion, pets, or any of the countless other subjects that find their way in front of your lens, eventually you’re going to be faced with the prospect of clean lines or high contrast against a solid background. While shooting high-key against a white backdrop obviously poses different lighting challenges than let’s say shooting a dramatic portrait against a black background, there are certain aspects that are common to both, regardless of the color of the paper. It’s what all of this paper has in common that we’re going to take a closer look at today.

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Top 10 Father’s Day Photography Gift Ideas

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It’s that time of year again. Time for a greeting card holiday created specifically to let Dad know how much you love him. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for something special for the photographer dad in your life, or if you’re in search of hints to drop around the house to ensure your offspring pay adequate homage and tribute to you on your special day, this year’s DIY Photography Father’s Day Gift Guide is sure to have something for everyone. We’ve searched the four corners of the globe– climbing mountains, sailing oceans, hiking trails, and fording streams– all with one goal in mind. Making sure that you or your dad have one of your best Father’s Days ever.

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What Else Happens When the Photographer Becomes the Client

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“What Happens When the Photographer Becomes the Client” appeared here on DIY Photography in January.

“You only have one job,” she said. “Hire the photographer.”

This was back in January, and my wife and I were about to embark on planning our son’s bar mitzvah. The truth of the matter is that I had more than one job, but being in charge of finding a photographer was a pretty big one.  Just like my clients, I want my family’s milestones photographed and memorialized. Obligatory portraits, perfectly balanced with meaningful candid shots that tell the story of the big day. More importantly, when your wife says, “You only have one job,” what she really means is, “Don’t screw this up!” Screw this up? Nope. Never gonna happen.

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Two Easy Tricks For Adding Light In Photoshop

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If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you already know two very important things about me and my approach to photography. The first– getting it right in the camera– is certainly not unique, but I truly believe that a unicorn loses its wings and the Earth briefly stops rotating on its axis every time the words, “I’ll fix it later in Photoshop” pass someone’s lips. The other has become a bit of a mantra in my photography classes– Photoshop is a tool, not a crutch. A bad photo is a bad photo– no amount of Photoshop is going to change that. But working a little bit of Photoshop magic can, in fact, bring that extra creative dimension to the work if used carefully. When I look at a photo, my first reaction should be, “Nice image.” It shouldn’t be, “Nice editing.” Having said that, however, I recently learned a couple of easy tricks for adding light to almost any scene in Photoshop.

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Making Sense of Your Flash’s Guide Number

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If you’ve been reading my posts here at DIY Photography for a while, you probably already know that I generally don’t spend too much time on some of the more technical aspects of photography. I’ve covered legal issues, written some fun reviews, and put some myths to rest, but I pretty much spend most of my time here howling at the moon. Okay– maybe not literally howling at the moon, but the opportunity to share whatever random thoughts have been bouncing around in my head a couple of times each week is a privilege I don’t take lightly– even when I’m ranting. I’ve decided that today’s going to be a little bit different. Today we’re geeking out and deciphering one of the greatest photographic mysteries of all time– your flash’s guide number.

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Why Composition is So D–n Important

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It’s easy to pick just about any photography-related topic– exposure, lighting, etc.– and make the claim that it is the most important element of photography. By extension, that bold statement would mean that the element in question would also be the most important step to taking better photos. The truth is, though, that all of the components come into play each and every time we bring the camera to our eye. We continue, however, to give more weight to some than to others. Sometimes it’s because we’re learning something new, while other situations may be dictated by the subject or surroundings. For me, though, that quintessential element is composition. If the composition fails, the entire image fails. Now, I can already hear feathers being ruffled. Some of you are already scrolling down to the comments section to remind me that without proper exposure, composition becomes irrelevant. The reason I totally disagree is that I am confident in your ability to assess a scene and dial in the right aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. But telling your story– creating a photo that truly speaks for itself within the four corners of the frame– that’s a process that separates a photo that works from one that doesn’t.

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10 Habits of Highly Creative People

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While creativity will mean different things to different people, I believe there are certain traits that are shared by highly creative people and personalities. Regardless of whether we’re talking about photographers, writers, painters, musicians, sculptors, designers, or poets, the creative process affects us all in similar ways. We may each see the world around us through vastly different lenses, but how we approach those visions can’t help but share certain similarities. Obviously, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to this stuff. While I’m only speaking for myself here, I’m betting that at least a few of these apply to you.

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15 Awesome Food Photography Tips

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Of all the types of things I photograph, shooting food probably comes the closest to being a full-blown DIY project. There’s a lot going on– from lighting and composing to styling and shooting, food photography is almost always a production. But regardless of whether you are shooting food for a big publishing client or for a small cookbook of your old family recipes, the process of capturing food at its most flattering remains the same.

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Mother’s Day Photography Gift Guide

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Hopefully, you’re doing nice things for the mothers in your life on a regular basis and don’t need any suggestions from us. For those who may need a little extra help finding the perfect gift for their photography-minded mothers– or for photography-minded mothers looking to drop a few hints around the house– we offer this year’s Mother’s Day Photography Gift Guide. Choose wisely. She brought you into the world, and quite possibly wanted to take you out once or twice along the way.

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3 Benefits of Keeping a Photography Journal

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I had a post earlier this week called “51 Things I Know About Photography.” If you haven’t read it yet, you should check it out. I’ve received a lot of emails over the past couple of days, asking me to clarify or expand on several items on the list. Interestingly enough, it’s been #37– Keep a journal– that’s generated several interesting discussions with readers in the last 72 hours. This also happens to coincide with one of my monthly rituals– running a complete catalog backup that I store off-site (#21, for those keeping track).

Perhaps I should explain.

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