How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots
Trees are one of the most often seen subjects in photography and you can find them in landscape shots and as part of the scene in other genres such as fashion, wedding, and wildlife photography. Yet, it is surprising that not too much notice is given to trees, especially if they are not the main subject. It is only after you see your shot that has a tree that it can make or break the shot. Trees are, after all, not so small and if the composition is awkward, they can stand out in a very unattractive way. 
tree1 How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots
Trees come in all shapes and sizes but one thing they have in common is that they are all pretty tall. The branches form large shadowed areas which may be hard to light and they stay in one spot so you have to deal with the outdoor environment they are in. Being quite large, you will have to experiment with various perspectives to capture them in their glory. By going through these tips, you will have a good idea with how to compose great shots with trees in them.
 
1. One tree – by singling out only one tree in your composition, you can direct the viewer’s attention to its particular beauty, from its shape and form to how it relates to its surroundings. Trees seem to have character and when you focus on a particular one, you can portray this better by highlighting its uniqueness in you photograph.
tree3 How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots
2. Watch out for the light – sunlight is the most convenient light source for photographing trees. It’s readily available most of the time and it can illuminate the entire setting. One thing about sunlight is that it varies depending on the weather, the time of day, and the atmospheric conditions. The same tree would be lighted much differently at noon compared to at sunset since the sun’s position will have changed. 
 
3. Look for patterns and textures – you may not need to have the entire tree in your shot, a close up view can show off various patterns and textures. Since a tree is made up of various parts, from leaves to roots, each part looks different from the rest. 
 
4. Use various angles – a tree can appear different at different angles so do not stick to only one shooting position or angle. Try to walk around the tree to find out its more interesting side. By doing so, you are also changing the background elements.
tree2 How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots
 
5. Include the ground – if you are taking a full-length shot of a tree, include the base or the ground instead of cropping it out. Keeping the ground visible in the shot adds context and perspective to the image. Roots, leaves, grass and flowers found at the base of the tree can provide added interest. 
 
6. Use it to frame the main subject – trees can also be used as a secondary subject to naturally frame the main subject. For instance, if your subject is a structure or a human figure, a tree on one side with its outstretched branches can appear to act as a frame to draw the eye to the subject.


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Selling Landscape Photographs

We may not be aware of this but we see photographs almost everyday. It has become an important part of recording our lives which later on becomes history to be shared with our grandchildren. We see it at home for our own personal way of remembering moments in our lives, it is used in advertising to sell products, and when we see photographs of wondrous landscapes of local sceneries, we are automatically transported to a place and time that we are connected with.land3 Selling Landscape Photographs

One of the most important tips to remember in turning a profit from landscape photography is to capture the local scenes. It is a proven fact that most clients prefer to acquire an image that they can associate themselves with. There are dozens of small towns out there with their own distinct charm from which you can create a masterful image. This is better than capturing a generic beach scene that anyone can purchase at a dollar store.

Shooting the local scenery lets you flex your photographic skills. Lighting is very important in landscape shots because aside from providing illumination, it also greatly helps to create mood. Sunlight is usually the main light source and the time of day and month, the weather conditions, and its intensity can create various effects to the same scene. For example, the landscape will look completely different in summer compared to in winter. Try to capture the landscape in such a way that even locals from the area will be amazed to see just how beautiful the place is that they live in and oftentimes take for granted. These locals would also be one of the primary demographics for a potential sale.

land2 Selling Landscape PhotographsIn choosing your best work for show or for your portfolio, pick out photos that you think are great and would sell, show them to close friends and relatives or even colleagues. Seek out positive and honest critiques. Remember that photography is subjective and images have different effects with every viewer. This will help you sort out which images are more appealing than others, which ones need improvement, and you can also gather fresh ideas for your nest projects.

Aside from online sites, you can also get a lot of exposure from art fairs. This is a great way of introducing yourself to the mainstream world of photography. You just have to make a minimal investment for your space in the exhibit and perhaps calling cards to hand out some flyers. This will also give you a chance to go through your work and select some of the images you think is good enough to sell. Check tland8 Selling Landscape Photographshe market value for similar images so you can establish a fair price on your own. This will also give you an opportunity for some constructive critiquing. You can ask the people who visit your booth about what they think of you images and at the same time ask them what they are looking for.

Displaying your work in coffee shops and restaurants would be good, too. Just make sure you have your name on your work for possible clients to get in touch with you.  Probably the most convenient way to reach a wide audience is through stock photography sites online. You can also create an online portfolio for interested clients to view your other works.

The business of selling landscape photography has become more competitive over the years and more and more aspiring photographers are emerging everyday, but the market for fresh new scenic images is growing as well.  As long as you stay observant and patient, keep developing your skills and most of all keep taking pictures, you’re well on your way to making your passion a profitable one.


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Photographing Snow Scenes

When the land gets covered in snow, it transforms into a different place, something magical, mysterious or desolate. Pictures of winter landscapes can be mesmerizing but taking those shots can be one big challenge. Not only will you have to think of composition and lighting but also how the cold will affect your camera gear. Before you head out into the world of snow, there are a few things to remind yourself about:

snow1 Photographing Snow ScenesProtect yourself – keep yourself warm with gloves and a jacket. Not only will you be less uncomfortable but it will lessen the chances that you will shiver and cause camera shake. Gloves might make it awkward for you to hold and use the camera but numb fingers won’t be a good thing, either. If you are in not so familiar territory such as hiking in the mountains, stay away from snow drifts and areas which might be dangerous. Taking a picture of that wonderland of snow in the distance is not worth risking your health for. 

Protect your camera gear – Camera batteries are very susceptible to cold temperatures and there is a possibility they won’t last as long as they usually do. Bring extra batteries, just to be on the safe side, and keep all your batteries as warm and cozy as possible by placing them in your pocket next to your body or by keeping your camera in an insulated bag when not in use. Avoid keeping your camera slung around your neck and try not to carry a lot of gear while walking. The bulkier the equipment you carry, the bigger the chances of you losing your balance. Not only might you get hurt if you do, but your gear might suffer, too. When you arrive home, give your camera time to adjust to the change of temperature before using it to avoid moisture or fogging of the lens.

snow2 Photographing Snow ScenesAdjust exposure settings – snow is white and has reflective properties, and without adjusting camera settings, your images can end up looking underexposed or dirty gray. The reason for this is that the camera meter is designed to compute for the middle gray in a scene and if what the lens sees is a lot of white, the light meter will compensate by underexposing the snow, hence making it appear gray instead.   A lot of digital cameras come with automatic presets and you can use the snow scene preset which can usually do a good job in using the right exposure. But you might want more control over your camera settings and use the manual mode instead.  To get around the possibility of underexposure, you can deliberately overexpose the shot by adding a stop of two to the exposure settings. You can also lessen the chances of getting images with the wrong exposure by bracketing your shots so that you will have options to choose from. 


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Selling Landscape Photos as Stock Images
A lot of times many stock photographers have to think of ideas that would make a great shot. It’s not a secret that almost all aspiring and well seasoned photographers have a whole folder of landscape or nature images hoping to find some use for them later on. With stock sites being swamped with landscape images, you might assume it is difficult to gain a foothold in this genre. In fact, there is always a need for beautiful sunsets, mountains, woods and beach settings. With a few helpful tips, you can turn your landscape shots into money makers:
 
land7 Selling Landscape Photos as Stock ImagesSee through a buyer’s eyes – catching the buyer’s attention should be of utmost importance to the stock photo seller. Look at your landscape photos with objectivity and see how they would appear if you were the buyer. Are they useful as a background image for a magazine or as a photo example for a brochure? Can you imagine seeing them in print advertisements or as desktop wallpapers? Buyers have various reasons for acquiring an image and yours should have some selling value that hooks the clients’ interest. 
 
Use your landscape as the background – landscape images often become cliché and generic since most sunset and mountain images look alike. One effective way land6 Selling Landscape Photos as Stock Imagesto make a landscape shot more unique is the addition of a foreground subject. Instead of just a plain beach in sunset scene, why not include a person or an object in the foreground. This gives the viewers something to focus on while also appreciating the beautiful landscape background. 
 
Always tag your images – the chances of your photograph being viewed by the public are greater if you tag your images appropriately. For example, a sunset doesn’t always have to be just a ‘sunset’. You can also tag it under ‘sun’, ‘dusk’, ‘twilight’, plus additional tags for elements that can be found in the image such as secondary subjects or the location of the scene. The more tags to describe your images, the more views you can have. Most buyers are usually very specific when searching for an image, and they may have the tendency to only use one word to search for a specific image. If you don’t use that word, you lose your chance of selling that image. 
land5 Selling Landscape Photos as Stock Images
Show people in your landscape shots – people images sell like hotcakes in stock sites. By including people in your scene, you immediately increase the chances of getting a sale. Your landscape may be stunning with perfect composition and lighting, but it can garner more interest with the addition of a person, even if it is just a small silhouette. If you want to play it safe, have a shot that is just purely landscape and another that has a person or some people in it. 
 
Landscape photography can be one of the most competitive niches to penetrate and be known for, but the demand for it is always high. There is never a lack for the need for landscape images. Just always make sure that in a market saturated by the same type of scenes, your images have better quality, your composition is immaculate and that the image has depth. These are what will make your work stand out, these are what will always sell.


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Quick Tips on Taking Great Landscape Photography

Landscapes and seascapes are ideal as photography subjects because nature has this innate beauty, whether it be snowcapped mountains or mist covered swamps. A lot of thought and consideration on the location and timing is needed to get the perfect shot. The right equipment is also needed to make everything just right.

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5 Tips on Beach Photography

If you live near the ocean, chances are you visit the beach often. If you don’t live near the ocean, you most likely make vacation plans to stay by the beach for some well deserved relaxation. They are great places to hang out and make excellent backgrounds for your subject, and they also make inspiring subjects themselves since they are places of natural beauty.

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