Using Color in Photography to Evoke Emotions

According to color psychology, colors affect our visual perception and can evoke an emotion or create a mood. There are colors that we gravitate to and others that we dislike. Certain shades and hues can influence us in our decisions. The world of interior design, clothing, and art are just a few areas where the use of color is carefully considered. Color is a very powerful tool and when applied to photography, it can greatly influence how we feel as we gaze at an image.

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Shooting Water Drops

Water has so many properties which make it such a versatile subject to shoot. They can become solid and turn to ice or they can become gas. They can give off reflections or appear transparent. Objects can sink or float in water. By playing around with the camera settings and being creative with your composition, you can capture water and portray it in various ways.

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Lighting Up Your Subjects Using the Backlighting Technique

Contre-jour, more commonly known as 'backlighting', is a lighting technique that can add great impact to your images. The light source comes from behind the subject which can cause it to become silhouetted. There is greater contrast between dark and light and shapes and lines become more defined. Certain details can disappear into darkness, such as the body of the subject. However, it can also show the details of a subject's edges such as fur or hair.

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Quick Tips on Architectural Photography

Architecture has long been a common subject in photography. It encompasses such a broad range of man-made structures and can be found wherever we look. Yet, now matter how many varieties there are, there are some quick tips you can follow to get the most out of photographing architectural subjects.

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New Photostockplus Photoloader – It’s Here!

We are committed to saving you time with your photography business and are proud to share with you the all new Photostockplus Photoloader tool!
It’s faster, more robust, can upload over 3,000 images an hour and now incorporates these great new additions:

Drag and Drop
It is now easier than ever to upload images using the Photoloader tool with its new drag and drop capabilities. Simply open the Photoloader tool and drag a folder from your computer containing the images you wish to upload into the main window of the tool. An album will be automatically created in the location you choose using the name of the folder. Thumbnails will start generating and all you’re left to do is hit the “Start Upload” button!
This feature is great for event photographers shooting multiple events as you will now be able to drag multiple folders at once, automatically creating an album hierarchy in seconds!
 
Default Event Album Settings
You can now set default event album settings which will be applied automatically to newly created event albums. This is particularly useful for event photographers using the newly added drag and drop feature of the Photoloader tool as this will apply your settings to each newly created event album! Simply head on over to your “Customize Website” section and set those defaults!

New Maximum File Size
You wanted it so here it is. We have increased the maximum image file size from 12 Megs to 20 Megs!

Multiple User Upload
For users with multiple Photoloader accounts, you may now have multiple users upload their images with the Photoloader tool to one central account at the same time, eliminating the need to coordinate uploading!

Mac Photoloader Tool
We have now added the same speed, functionality, and newly added features from the PC version of the tool to the Mac platform so you can expect a smoother and exponentially faster Mac Photoloader tool!

We hope you enjoy these new additions and welcome your feedback as we are always looking for more ways to save you time and accommodate your needs.

If you require additional information on any of these new additions, please don’t hesitate to contact our service team who are always here to help.

There are more great additions in the works so if you haven’t yet, be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed and follow us through our Twitter and Facebook page to receive all of the Photostockplus service updates as they are available!


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Shoot Yourself: A Guide to Self-Portraiture

Taking a portrait of yourself can be a challenge because it is hard to be both photographer and subject. You do not really know how you will look through the lens until the camera has captured the image. Running back and forth adjusting your camera timer, the camera settings, the camera angle, and so on can be quite draining. Focusing might also be hit and miss because you, the point of focus, might be moving a lot to check if all is in order with the background, the camera, your clothes and the light.

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Have a Great Time Taking Pictures From a Moving Vehicle

One of the most fun ways to take photographs is to shoot from a moving vehicle. (Needless to say, you must be a passenger and not the driver to do this activity.) There is the constant surprise of unexpected sights and not knowing what you'll see next can be a big thrill. There are many ways to go about it and here are a few:

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Aperture and Its Impact on Depth of Field

One of the three elements that control image exposure is aperture. Aperture is the size of your lens opening as the shot is being taken. When the shutter release is pressed, the aperture would be the size of the hole where the light passes. While shutter speed is measured by time, aperture is measured by size, called an f-stop. If you notice, the bigger the lens hole, the smaller the f/stop number. For example, an f/2.7 setting has a larger lens opening compared to an f/8. This may seem confusing at first but you will get soon get the hang of it.

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Providing Balance in Your Photographs

Balance is one of the principles a photographer strives to achieve because it makes images look visually appealing. By arranging subjects or elements such as colors, light and shadows and shapes and making them work together, you can portray balance in your shots.

Symmetry – One of the major principles of photography is the Rule of Thirds where the subject pinkpaper 1024x778 Providing Balance in Your Photographsis placed on one third of the frame, either in a horizontal or a vertical section. However, we also have the composition technique called 'symmetrical balance' or 'formal symmetry' which shows half of the frame as mirroring the other half. Subjects that have repeating patterns or have uniform shapes are good examples of symmetrical images.

Images that show pure symmetry might not retain the viewer's attention for long because there is no particular spot for the eyes to linger. Symmetrical images would be great as PC wallpapers or website background templates since they support rather than take away from the main point of interest such as program icons or the body of text.

Asymmetry – Also known as 'informal symmetry', this kind of composition can be applied to subjects that are not identical or even similar. Asymmetrical images are usually more striking than the symmetrical shots because the various elements lead the eye to the main point of interest.

There are many ways to show balance with asymmetrical compositions. The primary subject may be found on one portion of the frame but by placing secondary subjects on the space unoccupied by the focal point, you can achieve balance as well. If your subject is situated at the foreground, it can seem to exude weight or mass. If it occupies a large part of the frame, it also implies mass. You can counterbalance this 'heavy' subject by placing a smaller subject on the negative space.

Another way is to use depth of field. By focusing on the primary subject at one side of the frame and placing one or two secondary subjects further away, they act as blurry counterpoints that keep the image from looking lopsided.

Bear in mind that certain compositions can trigger impressions from the viewer, and this balancing between subjects can imply various meanings such as weakness, strength, emptiness or steadfastness.

Reading about photographic balance is a good way to understand the concept but putting them into practice is the best way to learn this principle. As you compose your shots, be aware of how it would look once the image is captured. Take note of the secondary subjects, not just the primary, because these are what will help balance and enhance your image. Aside from subjects, you can use contrasting textures, colors, leading lines, or light and shadows, as all these can also provide balance to your image.


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How to Capture Movement Effects by Playing with Shutter Speed

We talked about the Exposure Triangle in a previous article where shutter speed was defined as one of the three elements that control how much light is caught by the film or sensor. Let us now look closer at how shutter speed works and the different ways we can use it to produce movement effects.

rudolf How to Capture Movement Effects by Playing with Shutter SpeedShutter speed is measured by seconds or fractions of seconds. For example, you may leave the shutter open for 1/500 which means a five hundredth of a second or you may decide on one whole second. Shutter speed options vary in cameras. Compact cameras might not have a wide range of shutter speed measurements compared to DSLRs.

Aside from its relation to light, shutter speed can also be used to manipulate the appearance of movement in a shot. A fast shutter speed (such as 1/1000) can capture movement so quickly that the moving object can seem frozen and a really slow setting such as four seconds can intentionally blur the action for artistic effect.

Some cameras are capable of leaving the shutter open for a very long time. This is often called the B setting and by using it, you can keep the shutter open for as long as the shutter release button remains pressed. This is usually used for astrophotography (such as shooting star trails) and for particular effects such as light painting.

There are many popular in-camera effects that optimize shutter speed settings:

Motion blur – this is simply moving the camera while using a slow shutter speed to create interesting blur effects. Motion lines appear when the lens moves and these can be straight or wavy or just a haphazard pretty mess.

 Frozen action – by using a very fast shutter speed, you can freeze actions while keeping the subject in sharp focus. This is great for sports and nature photography where the subject is usually moving fast. Capturing them in mid-motion can make for very interesting shots.

Panning – this is when you focus on the subject while it is moving and while the shutter is open for a few seconds. Usually, it is easier to achieve if the panning motion is side to side. It is more challenging if the camera pans vertically. If done correctly, the result is a clear subject with a blurred background. An example would be a racing car in focus while the track has become blurred and shows motion lines. These lines can give the viewer the impression of just how fast the car is zooming by.

Zoom blur – this effect is more effective with a zoom lens and a tripod (or any steady surface) since the motion lines will come out straighter. Using a relatively slow shutter speed, use the lens to zoom away or towards the subject. If you don't have a zoom lens, manually move the camera instead. There is a chance the camera shake will be very visible, although interesting results might also come about.

If you want to keep your images sharp, your camera has to be as steady as possible, especially with the slower shutter speeds. Using a tripod or a steady surface will allow longer shutter speeds while maintaining clarity and focus. If you are holding the camera, make sure you are using the fastest shutter speed possible without compromising a decent exposure. Since less light is let in with faster speeds, you have to make up for it by adjusting the other two elements: aperture and ISO.

Try to experiment with the various shutter speeds because the image can appear different with every fraction of a second. By using it to show fascinating action effects, you can enhance the viewers' experience by giving them the visual illusion of movement.


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