Understanding How Color Temperature Works

Color temperature is a fundamental aspect to consider when considering lighting in photography. Unbalanced color temperatures can greatly affect the final outcome of your images and is a primary concern when trying to create visual impact. 

color1 Understanding How Color Temperature WorksIn order to have a better grasp of understanding color temperature, try to imaging that when we view a piece of paper by candle light, fluorescent lighting or in daylight, paper will always look white. But in actuality, our brain tells us to ignore the variations in color the different light sources produce and only see what we expect to see as paper being white. Light is actually comprised of a multitude of different colors, and the human eye can only perceive the difference in hues at the extreme ends of the scale.  

Color temperature is usually measured in degrees Kelvin (K), and this type of scale is a feature in some digital cameras as an acute way of manually setting up the camera for lighting situations.Butcolor2 Understanding How Color Temperature Works all digital cameras have a useful function that automatically adjusts the color of the pictures they record to fit the lighting that is detected in a particular scene. This is more commonly known as auto white balance (AWB). This uses electronic filtration at the processing stage to correct the color temperature it detects in a scene and is probably one of the essential factors you may have to consider when preparing your lighting for a shoot. It is easy to conclude that indoor lighting can have an orange tinge in color, but in actuality, even daylight can have varying colors. Natural lighting depending on the time of the day, clouds and weather conditions all impact color temperature. They all contribute in affecting the mixture of colors or wavelengths. The camera detects the whole surrounding area and automatically assesses the white balance in every shot.

Color balancing is different for every type of source of light you will be using whether it be for tungsten lighting or daylight. The easiest way to check for white balance is to use the white balance option in your digital camera, find a white cardboard and hold it up to your cameras lens making sure that the card fills the whole lens, and finally push the set button. This would allow you to notice the distinction on the LCD screen. You can then gauge the correct whiteness and make the necessary adjustments based on what you see. 

Balancing color temperatures color3 Understanding How Color Temperature Workscan be tricky, but you can purchase color correction gels, tinted cellophane or you can even switch bulbs to go with the color temperatures for the scene. You can even pay around with color balance for artistic output. You can also rectify unwanted color casts in post processing with the use of the Color Balance, the Hue/Saturation or the Selective Color adjustment options. Your images don’t necessarily always have to be properly balanced. When you can play around with color temperatures and create artistic effects that can complement your images when used in the proper way.

Always remember that photography is a way for creative output, have fun experimenting, who knows, you just may create your very own masterpiece.


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10 Ways to Turn Your Photographs into Cash

Who doesn't have photographs stored in a computer? Almost everyone who owns a digital camera or mobile phone has photographs stored in virtual memory. And if you are a photography hobbyist or enthusiast, what better way to turn your stored images into fast cash. This is one of the fastest ways to turn your art into a lucrative business. Once you choose your niche, you can start marketing your work to your family and friends, neighborhood establishments and online. Here are a few tips on how to turn your digital images into currency:

tocash3 10 Ways to Turn Your Photographs into Cash 1. Make original computer cover designs – with the use of your home printer, you can print out your own images on specialized sticker paper to liven up desktop computers and laptops.

2. Offer your images to web hosting companies and their libraries – there are numerous web companies that offer space in their servers to promote various businesses through the World Wide Web. Images are needed to promote businesses are very much in demand. These web hosting companies offer prospective clients various images that best represent their business. 

3. Make car window covers – dashboards ca be damaged with the intense heat of the sun during summer. Print out your images on windscreen covers and offer your product to car accessory stores, gas stations and even online to reach a wider audience. This is also a great way to promote your photography skills to the public.

4. Real estate images for real big money – take advantage of the For Sale sign of properties that are being offered in the market. Show your images to the property owner or developer. Make sure they accentuate the property and is attractive enough to gain the attention of prospective buyers.

5. Travel images for travel agencies – every person who has intentions of traveling for a vacation would like to see what they can expect to enjoy in the place they’re travelling to. If you have travelled to any destination, you’re sure to have photographs of the place. Offer your images to travel agencies so tat they can show their clients the place they want to travel to, the sights they can expect to see, etc.

tocash1 10 Ways to Turn Your Photographs into Cash 6. Restaurants and cafés are the best places to promote and sell your images – approach restaurant and café establishments and offer your photographs to be hung on their walls to decorate and complement their establishment in exchange that they allow you to sell them as well. Make sure your contact details are on every image. You can reassure the restaurant owner that you will be replacing every sold photograph with an original one whenever your work is sold.

7. Calendars are a yearly gig – calendars are a great way to exhibit your versatility and style. The best way to promote tem is to sell them online.

tocash2 10 Ways to Turn Your Photographs into Cash 8. Upload your images in microstock sites – one of the best ways, not to mention the easiest way is to have your own library of images in microstock sites. This allows you to earn even when you’re asleep. Just make sure you only upload quality images. This will assure your clients that you have excellent quality and standards when uploading images. They will keep coming back for more.

9. Join photography competitions – there are numerous websites that have open photography contests that allow you to win cash prizes as well as make a name for yourself I the world of photography. This is also a great way to generate a client base and promote your work.

10. Sketch your images – there are several photo manipulation software available in the market that allow you to convert your digital images into sketches. This is an excellent way for people who can’t draw to be an instant painter.

Start looking through your folders and see what you can turn into cash right away. There is a never ending need for photographs for all types of needs. Your past time can be a fast way to make you earn extra money that you never even expected.


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Reinventing the Darkroom Techniques

Since the digitized era penetrated the world of photography, the underlying dynamics of the art has been revolutionized enabling its ream to be practically limitless. With the many types of software available in the market such as Photoshop allows you to do things that was not possible in the days of film and the darkroom. There are extensive techniques and useful tricks that are still waiting to be discovered even by the most skilled photographers.

Even with all the newly developed methods that are waiting to be discovered, there are still the ageless practices that many photographers never get tired of recreating since the art of photography started over 160 years ago. Converting images to black and white and toning digital images with the use of Photoshop give the opportunity of showcasing your images in classic photography styles.

darkrm2 Reinventing the Darkroom TechniquesManipulation software is ideal to give your images a distinct style from a wide range of older techniques that were obscure or more popular at the time. These programs often have plug-ins or applications that can be downloaded and used on your images. But by using the standard adjustments and effect in Photoshop, you can make your ordinary images standout and add a lot more character.

Some of the more popular effects that you can try are:

Split-toning – this is an old darkroom practice where a black and white film is treated with two metallic tones in succession to make some of the midtones in the image become the same color and other are another. This can be done using an RGB scan of a black and white negative or to a desaturated digital image file. The adjustment is made by using Curves or Levels tool to the red, blue and green channels.

darkrm1 Reinventing the Darkroom TechniquesCross-processing – this is a technique that was popular in the music industry and many fashion photographers. Here color print film was processed in slide chemistry or slide film was processed like they were color negatives to create strange distortions in color and contrast that was very much the rage for magazine art editors.

Similar to split-toning, this can be done using Photoshop by adjusting the Curves of each channel such as using a full color image. Portraits yield better results. This type of adjustment typically recreates the processing of C41 negative film in E6 slide chemistry.

Sabattier effect – also known as solarization, is used to involve exposing the film or printing paper to light before it was fully developed. This can cause sight reversal to some of the tones darkrm3 Reinventing the Darkroom Techniquesand creating a tinge that is somewhat an in-between color of the original. This technique only allows you one opportunity to get the desired effect you want, and can rarely be replicated.

In Photoshop however, there is no such difficulty, and the Sabattier technique can be used in both monochrome and color images with definitive control. The basic technique is to make adjustments I the Curves to form a U shape line. And by further distorting the curve you can create even wilder effects. When you have the effect you are satisfied with, you can then make further adjustments to the color with the curves in each of the channels or by utilizing the other color adjustment tools. You can also try Filter>Stylize>Solarize in Photoshop for a quick effect.

The digital era has made photography limited only to your imagination, and with knowing how each tool works, you can apply it to you photographs to create visual depth in your work.


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The Beauty of Twilight Photography

The moon has always been held as a sense of wonderment, it has been the centerpiece for many a romantic or horror scene. It has also played a big part in impacting the many cultures of the world. More so, it influences the gravitational pull of the earth and is responsible for casting the tides of the oceans. The moon as opposed to the sun, can be gazed upon directly. You can stare into the very depths twilight3 The Beauty of Twilight Photographyof its character and be awed by its wondrous beauty. It is in itself a beautiful subject to be photographed as part of a scene or all on its own. When you include the moon while taking a photograph of a scene, whether it is in the countryside or in an urban setting, it adds to the sense of harmony. Whenever a night photo is viewed, there is always a sense of something missing when you do not include the moon and the stars in the frame. The perfect opportunity to photograph the moon in its full glory and make it part of your scenery is when it is almost full. This is usually when the sun is about to rise and the moon is about to set (or vice versa). This makes it idea due to the fact that the moon will be low in the sky, which happens at twilight or at dawn. 

Take composite shots to keep both the moon and the foreground defined and in focus. To do this, the first shot should focus mainly on the foreground scene and the second shot should have the moon in focus. During post-processing, you can combine the two images together and …..

If your idea of an image is to still have the sun providing natural lighting for your scene, you can utilize the same type of exposure for the two types of photographs. However, if you plan to shoot after the sun has set or is about to rise, you may require a longer exposure for the scene and shorter exposure when photographing the moon.

 twilight1 The Beauty of Twilight PhotographyIf you are using the moon as your main subject and you want to capture more of its details, such as its craters, you will need a long lens and the stability of a tripod. For a long lens, at least 300mm would do for the actual details to show in your image. 

For the aperture, it can vary depending on the weather, the density of the clouds, etc. For a clear night, an aperture of at least f/8 would be ideal. First, it will give you great depth of field while allowing for a relatively fast shutter speed. This is mainly so because the moon moves extremely fast for slow shutter speed. That can cause you to have undefined edges.twilight2 The Beauty of Twilight Photography

The light emanating from the moon can change depending on the weather, its height and location in the sky. Therefore, there is no definite shutter speed to use and you will have to base it on the conditions at the night of the shoot. Ideally, you want to achieve bright pixels in your image but make sure you do not overexpose your shot. Always remember that it is not just the full moon that can give you a great photograph. The other phases of the moon can give you an equally beautiful subject by giving you more character with the shadows it creates in the craters which give more depth. 


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Things You Should Know About the Useful Features of Your Camera

The usual things we hear when it comes to camera features are aperture, ISO, white balance and other familiar terms. But there are a lot of other features you will also find useful in your DSLR camera. Here are a few of them:

features1 Things You Should Know About the Useful Features of Your CameraFlash exposure compensation – a common question we ask is why do our images, whenever we use the flash, become under or overexposed? When we hear automatic flash, we always assume that this feature can calculate the precise amount of light needed for the shot. However, the camera’s ability to adjust to certain environmental lighting is not always as accurate as we want it to be. That is where the definition of a great photographer versus an amateur photographer is defined. To get excellent images, you have to help your digital camera to get the exposure perfect. When you compensate your flash exposure by selecting negative numbers, this will reduce the flash power and will allow you to keep highlight details. Positive numbers will allow you to add illumination to your subjects from further away. When using the built-in light meter, it can be fooled by placing something bright within the frame of your shot. 

Depth of field preview button – this feature will show you how an image will look, not just based on what you see in your viewfinder or LCD screen. When you use this button, you can see which parts of an image are in sharp focus and which parts are blurred. You can also determine what aperture settings you have to use to get the effect that you want. To use this, simply adjust the aperture to get the exact balance between the blurry and the sharp portions. 

features2 Things You Should Know About the Useful Features of Your CameraMirror lock-up – using a tripod doesn’t necessarily mean you will not get blurry shots. DSLRs are made with an interior mirror that flips upwards to reveal a digital image sensor whenever you press your shutter button. When you use heavier lenses, this shutter movement or ‘mirror slap’ can cause vibrations. By turning on the mirror lock-up setting, the shutter remains stationary which will give you sharper images. 

Rear curtain sync – this feature is a phase in your shutter speed. A conventional flash is always the first curtain. The second or rear curtain is usually used for a more dramatic effect to create a trail of subject movement. You can create patterns in the motions that cannot be seen by the naked eye and the effects can be magical. To get this effect, set your camera to manual exposure, usually at one second at f/5.6 and set it to the second curtain. Make sure the subject is moving before you take a photograph of your image.

features3 Things You Should Know About the Useful Features of Your CameraLong exposure noise reduction – for exposures longer than ten seconds, this feature can eliminate some of the digital noise and effects caused by long exposure. If you plan to take consecutive shots of the same subject, this can hinder the speed because the image sensor has to reset and take a blank exposure after each and every shot. This is the same length of time as the actual shot so it is double the time. But the shots that you produce can be worth the wait. 

AI Servo AF – with the newer types of DSLR cameras out in the market today, you can set the perfect combination of exposure, aperture and lighting. Your main hurdle would now be your subject. Especially with sports photography, dance photography or other genres that involve movement, this smart feature allows the camera to detect the speed and direction of movement of the subject so that your lens can focus on the position to eliminate the chances of getting blurry shots. To attain the AI Servo AF, press the shutter release half-way and your viewfinder will show that you are tracking your subject with an in-focus indicator. 


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Using the High Pass Filter to Boost Image Contrast

The High Pass filter is often used to sharpen or even soften image details but did you know that you can also use it to create a high contrast image? If you want your image to have a high contrast effect, there are many ways to achieve this in Photoshop and this filter is one of many effective ways to do it. In this tutorial, we will show how using the High Pass filter can enhance your image and give it more impact. 

It must be said that each image is different and the High Pass filter might show great results with some but not with others. Also, there are many other adjustment settings that you can use in connection with the filter to get various results. For this tutorial, we will be using Photoshop CS2 as the photo editing program although you can use another if it has the High Pass filter option.

Step 1:

Open your image and create a duplicate layer so you can leave your original image untouched. Click on Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and a dialog box will appear. Another way is to make it show is to click on the half black, half white circle under the Layers palette and choosing Hue/Saturation. Drag the saturation slider to around +15 then press OK.

hpcont1stlayer Using the High Pass Filter to Boost Image Contrast

Step 2:

Create a new adjustment layer, this time using brightness/contrast, drag the contrast slider to +15 and press OK.

Step 3:

Press Shift+Ctrl+Alt+e if you are using a PC (if on a Mac it is Shift+Alt+Cmd+E) in order to merge all these document layers into one new layer on top of all the others.

Step 4:

While targeting the new layer, go to Blending mode and choose Soft Light. You can use other blending modes such as Hard Light or Overlay if you want a stronger effect. If it is too strong to the point of being unappealing, you can reduce the opacity to tone it down. For this tutorial, we will be using Soft Light to show a more subtle effect.

hpcont2layer2 Using the High Pass Filter to Boost Image ContrastStep 5:

Click on the Add Layer Mask icon found at the bottom of the Layers palette to add a layer mask to the top layer.

 

Step 6:

Select the Brush tool and set the Hardness to 0%, the Opacity to around 50%, and the Mode to Normal. Make sure the foreground color is black and set the diameter to a manageable size. Now paint over the areas where you want to retain defined detail. Your brushstrokes will reveal the layer beneath it that is still in clear focus. In the meantime, the layer mask will show black lines which represent the strokes you are making. 

Step 7:

Again, merge all the document layers into one new layer and set the Blending Mode to Soft Light. Next, go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set the radius value to around 3 pixels, depending on the image size and content. You can check the image preview and work at a suitable value based on the results shown. 

hpcont2hp Using the High Pass Filter to Boost Image Contrast

Here is a comparison between the original image and the final result after using the High Pass Filter:

hpcontcomp Using the High Pass Filter to Boost Image Contrast


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More Ways to Make Money Out of Your Passion for Photography

Photography is a very lucrative venture and if you have the passion and skills to take stunning photographs, you can make use of this asset by making money out of doing what you love. We previously ran an article in a similar vein and by popular demand, here are more suggestions you can use to earn some cash from taking photos:

Sell in stock sites – stock photography is a booming and very competitive business. Once you are accepted as a member, you can start uploading your shots for approval and these can then be included in your stock portfolio for prospective buyers to see. The system works by selling your images with a commission fee and although each image can be sold for 25cents or so, there is no limit as to how many times it can be sold by various buyers. One image can accumulate hundreds of dollars over time. It is not as easy as it sounds, though, and you will have to constantly upload to keep your portfolio fresh and make sure your images are high quality and have commercial value. 

makemny2 More Ways to Make Money Out of Your Passion for PhotographyNewborn babies – parents of newborns are often busy or preoccupied with getting ready for the baby’s needs. This will usually require you to be on call, especially if the parents ask you to take photographs at the hospital or when they arrive home with their little bundle of joy. Offering your services would guarantee that you cover all parts of the event, from the time they leave for the hospital to when they get home. This will also give you a great opportunity to have them as repeat clients if they like your work. 

Used cars – every urban area has a used car lot. Offer your services to owners and salesmen. It is always helpful to have photographs of the cars they have in stock so that the customers can browse through the stack of photos without having to go out and look at each and every car. Once they have narrowed down their choices, they can then go and check the selected cars. Another way for car dealers to use your services is when they want to sell their cars online and your photos will entice the car buyers to contact the dealer. 

makemny1 More Ways to Make Money Out of Your Passion for PhotographyPhoto gift items – aside from using photos for postcards, you can extend your services to include photos printed on novelty items such as mugs, jigsaw puzzles and mouse pads. Photostockplus.com is one site that offer these service and all you have to do is upload your images and they will do all the hard work of getting them printed and shipping them to the buyers.

Sell your images as art – if you have a creative eye and the ingenious flair to make something out everyday occurrences and scenery, then you are in the right field. Experiment with different points of view and angles. Kneel, lie down on the pavement, prop your camera on walls, the whole world is you makemny3 More Ways to Make Money Out of Your Passion for Photographyplayground. The best way to learn about anything is to try something new each time. This will help you develop newfound techniques that you can apply in your art.

Once you’ve gathered all your images, take advantage of the very useful software applications during post processing. Sift through your images, correct the common errors in some and crop them if needed. Once you are satisfied, have them printed at a quality printing shop where you are assured your prints will come out looking exactly like how they appeared in your computer screen. You can then frame your work and display them in various establishments in your area or even make them available for purchase online.


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More Tips on How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots

When photographing scenes that include trees, one should keep in mind how to present trees in an interesting manner since they can make or break the shot. It is not easy to ignore trees in photos due to their huge size. We had previously given you several tips on how to photograph trees, and these are some more to help you when composing trees in your images:

tree6 More Tips on How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots1. Check the weather – the weather directly affects the outcome of outdoor photos and it is best to know beforehand what to expect. Mist, rain, snowfall, wind, heat and such would give your image a certain atmosphere and you can take advantage of it or wait until the skies clear up.  Extreme weather can damage the camera gear so always make sure these are always protected. Of course, your own personal safety is more important than the shot so dress appropriately.

2. Use it as foreground or background interest – in landscape photography, trees are often used to add interest to a certain area in the image frame. They can be in the foreground with a majestic mountain or a house in the distance, and they can also appear in the background of the main subject. When using it as a secondary subject, keep in mind that it should not steal attention away from the main point of interest.tree4 More Tips on How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots

3. Shoot its color – with the change of seasons come the change of leaves and trees that look vivid green and brown in the summer may have fiery red leaves in the fall. Also, the bark of trees also differ in color compared to other varieties. Why not focus on the color of trees to further enhance your shot.

4. Try different lenses – wide-angle lenses take in more of the scene and make the distance between objects seem longer. Telephoto lenses, however, magnify the subject and decrease or compress the distance between objects. These also offer a shallower depth of field compared to the wide-angle. You can stand in the same spot and take photos of the same trees but the results would look different if you used different kinds of lenses. 

tree5 More Tips on How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots5. Shoot variations – trees not only come in all sizes and shapes but they can also grow all alone without any other tree nearby or clumped together into a dense forest. Shoot as much as you can of the trees while trying as various compositions. Step away or go closer, angle your camera upwards or climb up the tree and shoot downwards, shoot the trees as a group or single one out.

6. Experiment with both vertical and horizontal framing – the horizontal or landscape format is ideal for subjects that are wider than they are taller. For instance, this would be ideal if the subject were a row of trees. On the other hand, the vertical or portrait format would be great for the lone tree where you might want to include it all in the frame. Of course, these are simply guidelines and you can try switching formats to see which works best for the scene.

7. Have the model interact with the tree – when doing a fashion shoot or portraiture, try to have the model acknowledge the tree instead of simply standing beside it. By having the model lean on it, look at it or touch it, there is an apparent connection between these two subjects which can give greater visual impact, as well as send the message across more clearly. 


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Protect Your Camera Gear During Cold and Wet Weather

Winter months are cold and wet and for some parts of the world, just plain wet. With the first quarter of the year just starting, we will experience a lot of rain. This can spell bad news for your digital camera and equipment. When you expose them to cold, wet and warm areas all at the same time, this may have drastic effects on protect31 Protect Your Camera Gear During Cold and Wet Weatheryour valuable equipment. Unfortunately, it is during this time that you require the use of your camera more often since the holidays fall in the winter months.Here are some helpful ways to protect your camera gear from harsh weather conditions:

Keep batteries warm – the cold has an effect of draining your batteries at a much faster rate. Also, moisture may seep within the battery chamber can cause rust in the metal parts. To avoid this damage, bring spare batteries with you and keep them protected from the cold by placing them in a hand warmer or a woolen sock. See to it that the battery and the camera have the same temperature before you change batteries. 

protect21 Protect Your Camera Gear During Cold and Wet WeatherAvoid condensation- condensation or water moisture appears when you expose your camera to the cold elements and then enter a warm area. Try not to change your lens during cold conditions. To protect your camera, place it in a carrying case when not in use. When you are going to shoot outdoors, having your camera in a protective casing ensures that its response to the change of temperature is gradual. Leave a couple of dehumidifier packets inside your camera bag. Another tip to lessen condensation from showing up in your camera is to place it in a plastic freezer bag once you get in from the cold. This will make the moisture form on the bag instead of the camera.

protect11 Protect Your Camera Gear During Cold and Wet WeatherProtect your hands while taking shots – it can be difficult to work outdoors in cold weather because it can usually numb your fingers. Using gloves may keep our hands warm but they can be awkward once you start to take pictures. To have better maneuverability for your fingers, you can use soft thin gloves and mitts over them, preferably those with flaps at the tips so you can quickly access your fingers when you are ready to shoot.

Be extra careful when walking – wet and cold weather can lead to slippery ground. Be careful and try to avoid taking pictures while you are walking. Make sure that you are standing on film ground before you start to shoot and as much as possible, your shoes should be slip proof. Always wear your camera neck strap to lessen the chances of the camera slipping through your hands and falling to the ground. 

If you are very excited to see your shots as soon as you get home, you can first remove the memory card from the camera or bag and putting it in your pocket before you enter the warm indoors. This way, while the camera is warming up to room temperature, you can check out your shots in the computer.


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