Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday's Thought

"The Yellow Bloom"
(C) Allen Pearson,
All Rights Reserved




If you are experiencing pressure in your life,
keep your mind stayed upon the God who knows your past, 
present, and future and promises to meet your every need.

Philippians 4:19

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Amazing And Useful Digital Photography Tips

More and more people are coming to realize the amazing benefits of taking top-notch pictures. These mind-blowing photos can be taken by both beginners or experienced photographs, but in order to be able to do that, a photographer needs to be aware of some tips and techniques. In order to enjoy your hobby or your job of taking pictures, follow these tips and take your digital photography to a whole new level.

Avoid Extremes in Contrast

First and foremost, you should strive to avoid extreme shadows and highlights. You need to ensure that the details are not in jeopardy of being lost. Remember that when it comes to digital photography, even the slightest difference in contrast can lead to a complete loss of details in the background. If the contrast is too much to handle for your camera, go for a simpler background.

Make the Most of a Polarizing Filter

A polarizing filter is just perfect for you, because it greatly reduces any reflection from water, metal or even glass. Moreover, it enhances the color of the sky, trees and nature. A circular polarizer will suffice.

Never Shake Your Camera

This is a must for any photographer. This is the most common mistake of modern photographers, so you should strive to avoid it. In order to hold the camera properly, hold it with both hands and keep it steady at least a couple of seconds after pressing the shutter button. In addition to all that, ensure that the shutter speed you are using matches the focal length of your lens. Whenever possible, use a monopod or tripod.

Create a Unique Sense of Depth

In order to create flawless panoramic pictures, you need to learn how to make the viewer of the picture feel like he or she is in the photography. Keep the background sharp by using wide-angle lens. Also, place a person or an object in the foreground, on the right or left side, to emphasize the overall landscape.

Use the Flash Wisely


No expert photographer will ever tell you to use flash indoors. For indoor portraits, a flash can look very unnatural. In order to create better images without using your flash, increase the ISO to around 1600. Moreover, use the widest aperture possible in order to get a nice blurred background. However, if you want to avoid blur, use a normal aperture of about 3 and use a image stabilization.

Choose the Right ISO

Lastly, one of the most important things you need to remember when showcasing your photography skills is to choose the right ISO. In terms of digital cameras, ISO represents the level of sensitivity your camera has to light. In other words, when it is dark outside, the ISO needs to be anywhere between 500 - 3200, because your camera needs to be more sensitive to light. On the contrary, during the day a 200 ISO will suffice. You can also try the auto ISO setting, but it is recommended to set it all by yourself. This way, you can become an expert without anyone else to teach you.

These photography tips are extremely useful and can be of a real help, especially if you are in the beginning. Make the most out of these tips and your fans will surely become more in love with your masterpieces. Xavier is a passionate blogger and works in a professional photography studio.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday's Words

"Smiles"
(C) Allen Pearson
"The day is what you make it- smile, laugh, 
find the beauty in every day. Enjoy it!"  

(C) Allen Pearson, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

What Are Some Viable Career Solutions For Photographers?

In Chicago, May 30th will always be a dark day for those who are holding up for the reemergence of print media. Newspapers across the country have been struggling amidst heavy competition from cable news outlets, blogs and social media. Twitter can produce news within seconds, which makes waiting for the morning paper a chore. Therefore, newspapers have been cutting staff across the board to cover exceeding debts caused by their reduced popularity.

However, nobody ten years ago thought that a large paper would completely fire its photojournalism staff, but that’s exactly what the Chicago Sun Times had to do in late May. The Sun Times fired 28 photojournalists and editors, including a Pulitzer Prize winner. These are just a sign of the times in the world of photojournalists.
However, this doesn’t mean that if you have an eye for great visuals and love photography, you should completely give up on your dream. There are a wide variety of jobs out there for photographers who have the skills, drive and perseverance to develop a portfolio, perhaps take some freelance work and learn the craft. Here are several that come to mind that could produce a happy and fruitful living:

Wedding Photographer: Couples who get married often are rushed throughout their special day. They have to greet everyone, thank people for coming and, of course, perform in the ceremony. It can feel like a whirlwind, and that’s why a wedding photographer is such a component to the wedding. The wedding photographer captures the event and gives the couple and family a timeless artifact that can be enjoyed for the rest of their lives. In order to see if being a wedding photographer is right for you, try freelancing for a studio or see if a friend or family member who’s getting married could use a photographer at a reduced price.

Glamour Shots Photographer: Although you can take glamour shots for a wedding, you can also take glamour shots in a wide variety of other industries. When you’re thinking about the type of photography job you might want to look into, a career in glamour shots is not a scam, and you could find work in advertising and fashion. An advertising company will value a photographer who can convey the correct message the photographer hopes to achieve and will pay top money. You can also find glamour shot work for proms and other events if you so desire.

Forensic Photography: If you’re a fan of Dexter, CSI and other crime investigation shows, and you also love photography and technology, you might want to consider a job in forensic photography. The job of the forensic photographer is to show a crime scene from different angles in order to capture legal evidence to ensure justice. However, in order to perform the job correctly, you should be ready to handle the elements of a crime scene, which could be tough for some.

These are just some of the possible jobs out there for those who love photography and still want to make a career out of it. What are some careers others have been able to find in the field?
Featured images:

By Brenda Clarson, a photographer who has been freelancing around 7 years and wants to help other hopefuls break into the business.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday's Thought


"Sweet Kitty"
(C) Allen Pearson

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
-Psalm 139:23-24.

Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord
-Psalm 31:24

Friday, June 21, 2013

Garden Perspectives - Summer!"

"Summer!!"
(C) Allen Pearson
To me, no flower or plant says "Summer" is here or is about the season as a Sunflower.  It's a welcoming flower announcing one of my favorite seasons! And, the associated heat!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Photographing Animals: Insights From A Professional Animal Stock Photographer

Let’s face it. People are fascinated by the other living things that share this planet with us. Animals evoke all kinds of emotions from love of one’s pet to fear of a rattlesnake or creepy spider. Photographs of animals can bring out of a sense of awe from the exotic animals of the African jungle to the far reaches of frozen Antarctica to the microscopic wonder of dust mites.

We keep animals as pets, we visit them in the zoo, we watch documentary movies and animated films about them. We try to protect them from extinction and we try to trap them and kill them if they get in the house. We register them, band them, study them, breed them, watch them, raise them and even wear and eat them. The relationship of human and animal goes back to the beginning of time and our relationship with animals is constantly evolving. And in every single case our relationship with animals is documented in photography and imagery.

© Edward Fielding | Dreamstime.comStaging Cute Pet Pictures
Cute stock animal photography shows up on  greeting cards, t-shirt, in advertisements, in books and on product packaging. Stock photographers shooting animals are always on the lookout for adorable images that might show up as a poster or the cover of the next bestseller. Stock photography also documents exotic animals in the wild in their native habitat as well as the family pets doing rather normal everyday behaviors.

For the photographer, often it’s the pets who live right in the home who become the most convenient and willing (or perhaps unwilling) modeling subjects for their stock photography. I, myself, have subjected by my cute little Westie to all sorts of humiliation in the form of funny stock images. My book “The Quotable Westie” highlights many of these situations where my pet dog got to pose before my camera in all sorts of funny outfits and setups.

Normal "Day in the Life" Animal Shots
But one must always remember that in the world of stock photography, everyday, normal lifestyle images are in the most demand. Pets in natural poses and behaviors are in the biggest demand as the pet industry has a large demand for using animals on their packages and ads for pet food and pet products serving the needs of pet owners. Images of pets eating, drinking, standing, sleeping etc in natural poses are always needed. Of course harder to capture images such as stock photograph of a cat and dog together in harmony is always a prized find.

But the need for stock animal photographs goes beyond dogs and cats. Fish are popular as well as farm animals such as horses, cows, pigs and chickens. Plus human interaction is important between animals and humans. One of my more popular images feature stock shots of dogs with veterinarians which is useful as a stock image for veterinarian offices, pet drug companies, flea and tick prevention and more.

Images of farmers with their livestock, feeding or milking cows, gathering eggs or in other ways taking care of the animals is always in demand. As are stock images of the family interacting with family pets.

© Edward Fielding | Dreamstime.comGetting Out in the Wild
For the would-be animal stock photographer, I suggest trying for everyday situations and going beyond the usual.  For a certain segment of photographer, bird photography seems to be popular.  It almost becomes like hunting in which the photographer heads to the woods and seeks out their life list of bird photographs or they take a even more mundane approach and take photographs at the bird feeder.  Who can resist, right?  Certainly there is a huge market here for the camera companies who sell large and very expensive telephoto lens for this market as the birds are so tiny and hard to get in close.  But for stock photography the smart contributor realizes that while these images are fun and challenging to take, the isn’t much demand for them.  Other than bird identification books and bird seed packages, there isn’t a lot of demand for wild bird stock photographs and if you look in any stock agencies offerings you’ll see that the market is rather flooded.
Likewise in general you’ll find that animal images are a pleasant subject for photographers to shoot and there are a lot of these animal images for sale in stock agencies. Many photographer’s shy away from people shots with the added challenges of finding models, retouching and having to get model releases.  So the result is a wide variety of animal shots in the stock world.  The trick for the would-be animal stock photographer is to shoot unusual and outstanding images to stand out from the crowd.
Citations:
Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free: http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-small-pug-dog-vest-hat-against-red-background-image30205023
  •  License: Royalty Free: http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-osprey-fish-image24480953

Edward Fielding has been working in the medium of photography for over thirty years. He is a regular contributor of stock images and animal stock photos to Dreamstime.com. His stock image portfolio can be viewed at: http://www.dreamstime.com/peanutroaster_info.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday's Words

"Heaven and earth shall pass away; but my words shall not pass away." - Mark 13:31

"Cloud Portrait"
(C) Allen Pearson

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday's Thought


"Turtle in Pond"
(C) Allen Pearson
Happy Father's Day!  

May your day be blessed
with many happy memories 
with you family and friends.


While looking for a Scripture to use today, I kept thinking about the Ten Commandments where it says:

Honor your father and your mother, 
so that you may live long in the land 
the Lord your God is giving you.
 Genesis 20:12

This Scripture from the Ten Commandments basically instructs us to respect, obey, love and care for your parents.  The care part, more specifically, commands us to  care for them in their old age. 

Be sure to love your Dad today.  If he's local, take him to lunch or dinner or offer to do things around the house for him this next week.  If he's not local, be sure to call him and let him know you love him. 

And, if you can't do it today, be sure to schedule a time to do it these next few weeks. I celebrated with my father at dinner last night.  Circumstances were that we did celebrated last night as a family, including my in-laws, or we did it separate- and I prefer we all be together.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Garden Perspectives - Captured by Caladiums

"Caladiums"
(C) Allen Pearson
For some reason, I am addicted to Caladiums this season. I'm not sure why but I've even scoured my garden to see if I could possibly plant one or two. I managed to find a spot in my "outdoor studio" where I could plant one in a container.  They should be planted in shade but the spot I found, which I thought would be more shaded than it is, gets the late day sun.  I'm hoping it will survive for obvious reasons and I want photograph it with my macro lens.

As I sit and look at the plant, I think it is the intrigue of the colors throughout the plant.  It seems to create a joyful and happy experience.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday's Thought

The Hands of the Father
Kim Kirby - May 2013

We are the children of God
He holds each of us
In the palm of His hand

He will never say, “My hands are full,
I have no room for you”

He just holds out His hand and says,
“come My child”

He will always hold His children
Safely, tenderly, lovingly, in the palm of His hand
As if each one of us were His only child.



Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Good Photograph Keeps A Moment From Running Away

We live in an entirely imagistic culture. The prevalence of TV, film, and print media saturated our daily lives with mediated images as never before. However, the popularity of social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – are based on visual stimulation and seem like efforts to break every second of our lives down into 24 postable frames.
It increasingly seems that we are ever keener to clutch at time by trapping it in stills, immortalising ourselves, or just snapping something funny. Therefore we look at some advice from a range of photography experts, such as Cartier-Bresson, Steven Brooks, photographer Cecil Beaton, and Helen Levitt.

Watching Not Stopping: The Beauty of Capturing a Passing Away

French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson has become perhaps the most often cited source of inspiration for some of the most influential photographers in the late-20th century. He started out life as a painter affiliated with the surrealist movements until he discovered the Leica camera and devoted himself to photography. He pioneered candid “real life reportage”.

Cartier-Bresson wanted to capture the moment without intruding; as such he never used a flash, describing it as akin to “coming to a concert with a pistol”. He advocated that a photographer must be observant for “even the smallest thing can be a great subject”. He was famously disinterested in the camera and film he used, sticking to one camera throughout his career; he complained “people think far too much about technique and not enough about seeing”.

The Englishman who Mixed Art and Commerce to Create Fashion Photography

Cecil Beaton was diametrically opposed to Cartier-Bresson in style; he took glamorous stylised photos. But given the modern obsession with celebrity and glitzy images that swamp our magazines and websites, his influence is significant.

Beaton was a photographer for Vanity Fair in the 1920s and Vogue in the 1930s. He became known for his portraits in which the subject was merely one element in an overall decorative pattern. His aesthetic was one that played with art and artifice; his images were always chic, but sometimes bizarre and exotic as he sought to push the boundaries. Or, in Beaton’s own words: “be daring, be different, be impractical”. For him the only thing that mattered was creative vision rather than playing it safe or being ordinary.

The Happiest Photographs of Your Life: Photography as Memory

Steven Brooks, photographer, thinks that the key to a good image is that it must look “natural, classic, timeless”; in some contexts this means putting the subjects at ease, whereas in others it might mean taking a photo somewhat surreptitiously, a photojournalistic approach, so that authentic and recognizable character is captured: “no pointless poses, just keep everything real and relaxed”. This is particularly important in photography where the clients intend to review the images again and again over the years ahead – i.e. weddings, christenings, family portraits, etc.

Being able to adapt one’s style to the tastes of the client is fundamental, as such one needs to be sensitive to expectations. Providing “bespoke coverage” is important for professional photographers, like Steven Brooks. Photographer and subject must establish a rapport so that the former can better immortalize the character of the latter.

According to Steven Brooks, photographers involved in portraits and weddings must possess two key qualities: flexibility to match client tastes; calmness to put the client at ease. These two qualities, more than any others, increase the chances of taking a great photograph that will delight the client.

Street Life: Fishing in the Stream of Images

Helen Levitt is a photographer famed for her modest, poetic photographs taken on the streets of New York; she managed to capture the spirit of that city’s citizens unawares. Her career as a photographer lasted over 60 years, and all her images are shot through with a sense of humour, inventiveness and lyrical understanding of everyday life.

Levitt is little known by the public but is revered within the photographic community. She is known to be intensely private and rarely speaks on the topic of her own photography. She has described her intention as being to make “a picture that would stand up by itself” without any need to political subtext or social meaning. To capture a moment that speaks for itself without the photograph having to speak for it.


About the Author: Bob Emerald is a graduate in the history of art. He has a research interest in photographs that are important to people rather than important to history. He was inspired to write this article after studying Cartier-Bresson and meeting Steven Brooks, photographer at his sister’s wedding.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Garden Perspectives - Yellow Strawflower

"Perspective on a Yellow Strawflower"
(C) Allen Pearson
I bought my usual batch of annual Strawflowers again this year even though I told myself everything I planted would be different this year than prior years.  I planted perennials where I had annuals except in a few places.

Though determined, I could not resist the yellow Strawflower.  Also, picked up a white one with pink thrown in for good measure.  I didn't see the white or red ones this year but, a good thing as I decided to do things different this year!  So, I say!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday's Words

"Summer's Purple Cone Flowers"
(C) Allen Pearson

"A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold
in pictures of silver."

- Proverbs 25:11