What Makes A Great Photo?

Photo & Video by Joel Grimes
It’s hard not to love Joel Grimes. Not only is he a gifted photographer, but he’s also an outstanding educator and great source of inspiration. In the inspirational video below, Grimes’ down to earth, you-can-do-this personality shines as he talks about what makes a photograph great–and it might not be what you’re expecting to hear.

Sure, we all know proper exposure, interesting composition, and well executed focus are definitely ingredients for a great photo, but as Grimes explains, beauty still lies in the eye of the beholder. In other words, no matter how technically outstanding your work it, not everyone is going to like it. Grimes compares it music. We all have different tastes when it comes to our musical choices. Just because you might not agree with someone else’s taste in music, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. The same can be said of your photography. Just because someone doesn’t like your work, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not good–it just means it wasn’t for that person. [Read more...]

Essential Tips To Improve Your Bird Photography Skills

bird-photography1 Photographing wildlife takes a lot of patience coupled with a decent amount skill, and photographing birds is no exception. If you’ve been thinking about giving bird photography a try, or are just looking for ways to improve your shots, this quick fire video posted on Paulo Carvalho’s YouTube page  is full of tips to help you out. The clip is just under three minutes long and is packed full of useful tips from start to finish.  [Read more...]

Brooke Shaden Explains How To Light Portraits With Nothing But A House Lamp

brooke-shaden

Brooke Shaden is the kind of inventive photographer who prefers to do-it-herself rather than spends wheelbarrows of money on expensive studio lighting and modifiers. Instead, Shaden challenges us to get creative with what resources we have available to us. In this case, it was one or two basic house lamps from Ikea. (And if you really want to get elaborate with your set up, she also explains how to use a tissue to diffuse the light from the lamps.) [Read more...]

From Shooting To Post Production: How To Balance Flash With Ambient Light

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Natural light is a wonderful thing, but sometimes we need to supplement it with an artificial light source, such as a flash, to really get the look we’re going for. In the video tutorial below, Gavin Hoey takes us behind the scenes of a Robin Hood themed photoshoot to show us the techniques he used to seamlessly blend a flash with the low, ambient light in the forest where the shoot took place.

Hoey explains how to use different modes including aperture priority and manual mode to capture the image you see above. The light wasn’t as great as Hoey hoped it would be on the day of the shoot so he calls on a Flashpoint RoveLight 600 outfitted inside of a Glow ParaPop 28″ R Softbox, to help create some of the dramatic lighting you see. There was a little added magic done to the photo in post production, but nothing to difficult and Hoey (the nice guy that he is) included a walk through of his  post production, as well.  [Read more...]

Real Talk With Mike Monteiro: How To Get Paid For Your Work Even When Your Clients Are Total Jerks

mike monteiroThis video is one of the most entertaining presentations on how to deal with non-paying and problem clients. Creative Morning guest host, Mike Monteiro, is able to take a sensitive topic and inject some humor into it with his witty sense of humor. You’ll not only get a few laughs out of the discussion, but you’ll also take in some very important advice on how to deal with the inevitable problem client. Regardless of whether you’re a professional photographer or an amateur who books the occasional paying gig, you have to know what to do to protect yourself from non-paying and slow-paying clients.

Monteiro and his lawyer, Gabe Levine, cover a plethora of talking points in the nearly 40 minute talk. While the gist of the entire presentation could be summarized by saying “GET A CONTRACT”, it’s well worth the time to watch the entire clip. Remember, knowledge is power and there is a lot to be gained from the video. [Read more...]

Special Optics Allow Us (And Our Cameras) To See Air Flow With The Naked Eye

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This is pretty awesome. Scientists at Harvard Science Demonstrations put out a video earlier this year that let’s us see air moving with our naked eye. The team assembled some Schlieren optics (which we’ve talked about before) by reflecting a light source from a concave mirror onto a razor blade. The optics are setup in front of a camera to record as they demonstrate the process with a hair dryer, an air filled helium balloon, and a big glass full of sulfur hexafluoride gas. You can get a preview of the setup in the image above, but be sure to watch the video for the full effect, especially if you’re not familiar with Schlieren.  [Read more...]

Thomas Shahan Shares His Methods In Macro Photography

Methods In Macro Photography
A few days ago we shared some macro shots of spiders being reflected in drops of dew which were simply stunning. They definitely inspired me to pull out my extension tubes and reverse ring and get back into macro. If they inspired you to dabble, too, macro photography master, Thomas Shahan, just posted a new tutorial on the subject. There’s a lot of good advice for beginners in there, but more experienced photographers can find a few gems in the clip as well.

The video is an mostly an eight minute long slideshow of Shahan’s brilliant macro photos with some behind the scenes shots in there for good measure. Shahan narrates the clip by explaining his setup, process, and dishes out a ton of great pointers for levels of photographers. Be sure to look for the variety of DIY light modifiers he uses in some of the images. He briefly talks about how he made one of them with a paper towel and some sheets of plastic. He’s able to get some great shots using just that and the pop up flash on his Pentax DSLR

[Read more...]

Is It Ever Okay To Add A Lens Flare In Photoshop? Yes, And Here’s How To Do It

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Photoshop makes adding lens flares to a photograph an incredibly simply task which is, both, good and bad. Though they can add a creative touch to a photo, lens flares can also be a great way to turn a good photo bad (really quickly). We’ve all seen those awkwardly placed lens flares that result in more confusion than awe. Luckily, we have Aaron Nace, who nicely explains when they should and shouldn’t used in this 15 minute tutorial. After he offers us his guidance on when to use a light flare, he’s kind enough to do a walk through of the process of actually doing so. [Read more...]

11 Tips To Shooting Great Wildlife Photos Without Getting Killed

Wildlife

With the help of his father’s wise words, Jay P. Morgan has just put out a fun video chock full of tips to help you get started in wildlife photography. Morgan’s father was a photographer for National Geographic and the Audubon Society for many years. He did us all a favor by imparting his experiences and wisdom onto his son, who is paying it forward and sharing the tips with us. Even if you’re already familiar with some of the concepts he mentions, there’s certainly some gems to be found. Number 8 is a personal favorite. (I, too, can vouch for it’s usefulness.) [Read more...]

Thinking Outside The Box: Creative Use For A Speedlight And Pack Of Gel Filters

creative-gels

Gels are common tools to use when you want to change the temperature of your light or add color to white backgrounds. but they can also be used to simulate the look of different kinds of lights. In this case, Joe McNally uses a blue gel over a speedlight to mimic the look of a glowing movie projector. It’s a pretty creative application of the gels and goes to show that with a little imagination and a pack of Rosco gels, the sky is the limit.  [Read more...]