Archive for March, 2015

The Importance of Capturing Gesture and Emotion in Street Photography

31 Mar
Sometimes an expression can cut you like a knife.

Sometimes an expression can cut you like a knife.

One of the most fascinating things about street photography is that it can be so hard to pinpoint the reasons why one photograph works and another does not.

A good street photograph can be sharp or it can be blurry; it can be in contrasty light or in soft and even light; it can be an energetic scene with layers of people or it can be a quiet shot with nobody in it. It gets further complicated when you start to think about the ideas, moods, and feelings that your images suggest.

Despite this lack of certainty, I believe there are two things that will always improve a candid photograph, and that is a gesture in a subject’s body or an emotion captured on a subject’s face. Both of these elements have the power to be the defining reason that a photograph is great. They can be the basis for an entire image.

When I refer to emotion, I am talking about the look in a person’s face, in their eyes, in their mouth, in their eyebrows, or even in their nose. When I refer to gesture, I am talking about a movement, a stance, an elegance, or any position of a subject’s body that is suggestive in some way.

This image would not have worked without the elegant and suggestive stance in the legs.

This image would not have worked without the elegant and suggestive stance in the legs.

It can be misunderstood that doing street photography well is solely about photographing people that seem to pop out at you in some obvious someway. Maybe this is through a unique fashion or an interesting facial feature. The result is that you see images of people deemed interesting for some reason that don’t seem to be actually doing or thinking anything – they are expressionless and neutral in stride.

Instead of photographing with only the intention of capturing interesting people, try to take this idea further and locate interesting emotions and gestures in all different types of people. I don’t believe that you can differentiate who is more worthy of a photograph based solely on someone’s facial features or clothing. Your most ‘uninteresting’ person aesthetically can give you the best photograph of your life with a single powerful expression. So many compelling moments lie within these expressions and gestures.

So the next time you’re out photographing, pay attention to what you think a person is feeling and work from there out.

NY is filled with nervous people. This image tells the story of the city more than any image of a skyscraper can.

New York is made up of nervous people. To me this image tells the story of the city more than any image of a skyscraper can.

For more street photography tips try these articles:

  • There is No Bad Light for Street Photography
  • 7 Tips for a More Anonymous Approach to Street Photography
  • How to Create Amazing Urban Landscape and Street Photography Images
  • Practical Tips To Build Your Street Photography Confidence

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30. März 2015

30 Mar

Das Bild des Tages von: Maria Louceiro

16783627780_Marla Louceiro

Im Ausblick: Der Stamm der Dukha, eine Kamerapistole und Märchenbilder inspiriert von Vermeer.
kwerfeldein – Fotografie Magazin | Fotocommunity

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Street Photography: Easy To Learn, Impossible To Master

30 Mar

Of all the different fields of photography, street photography might be the most difficult. However, it’s also an area that many aspiring photographers jump into first. Street photography almost seems like the reason photography was created for in the first place. Unlike taking photos in a studio, shooting landscapes or working with models, street photography entails a bit of chaos. Continue Reading

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DPReview recommends: Best smartphone cameras

30 Mar

In many users’ pockets consumer-level digital compact cameras have been replaced by smartphones. The cameras of the latter don’t usually have zoom lenses or xenon flashes but image sensor technology has been rapidly improving, making smartphones important photographic tools for many. We’ve made a list in no particular order our current favorite smartphone cameras for those who are looking to buy their first smartphone or upgrade their current device. Read more

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Kirchenfotografie mit dem Tilt-Shift

30 Mar

Moderne Kirche vor düsterer Wolkenfront

Es war im August 2013, als ich einen für mein damaliges Portfolio ungewöhnlichen Auftrag bekam. Ich sollte für einen Kirchenkreis alle Kirchengebäude von außen „portraitieren“ – für ihr Archiv, für Veröffentlichungen und für die Nachwelt. Die Fotos sollten darüber hinaus anschließend auch gedruckt im zentralen Verwaltungsgebäude (Kirchenkreisamt) aufgehängt werden. Sie sollten möglichst authentisch sein und die Kirchen mit all ihren Details einigermaßen genau zeigen.
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Mushroom Materials: DIY Kit Grows Custom Compostable Products

30 Mar

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

mushroom lamp

Turning agricultural waste and fungal mycelium into construction materials, this do-it-yourself kit lets you grow your own compostable bio-plastic objects, from packaging furniture to surf boards and architectural building blocks.

mushroom award winning architecture

Providing a natural alternative to synthetic options, Ecovative’s Mushroom Materials line competes on cost with petroleum-based equivalents and can be shaped in all kinds of ways using custom and reusable molds.

bag of mushrooms

mushroom in a mold

Their latest creation is this home Grow It Yourself kit – they will ship you the organic components (a mixture of crop waste, like corn husks and stalks, and the vegetative part of mushroom fungus). Upon receipt, you can wait and leave things in a dry dormant state, or add water and fit the mixture into a mold to build whatever you want – nature and time take care of the rest.

mushroom as product pacakging

surfboard surf organics

So far, Mushroom Materials have been used to make everything from award-winning architectural creations (using blocks made out of organic matter) to biodegradable surf boards, flower pots, lamps and other everyday objects.

plant pot mushroom

pendant lamp mush lume

From Evocative: “We grow materials made from agricultural byproducts and mushroom mycelium. Mycelium is a natural, self-assembling glue, digesting crop waste to produce cost-competitive and environmentally responsible materials that perform. Our large-scale grow factories are truly revolutionary. We harness the power of nature – the cleanest technology on Earth, eliminating the pollution generated across the petroleum-based plastics supply chain.”

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29. März 2015

30 Mar

Das Bild des Tages von: Carsten Beier

Portrait in der Landschaft: Ein Mann wirft einen Stein in einen Fluss, im HIntergrund ist eine Brücke zu sehen.

Heute im Ausblick: Steine übers Wasser hüpfen lassen.
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5 Tips for Doing Candid Wedding Photography

30 Mar

Weddings have changed drastically in the past few years. Couples want more from a wedding these days, they don’t want the traditional, normal photography anymore. They frequently ask for documentary or candid wedding photography because it captures the emotions of not only the couple, but also the guests enjoying themselves without lining them up in front of the camera.

IMG 0072

But, candid photography is so much more than just pointing your camera at people and shooting away to glory. You, as a photographer, need to know and understand the finer nuances involved in candid wedding photography; you need to know how to get good candid shots without people noticing you. Here are five tips to shoot a wedding in a lovely, unobtrusive and candid way which would make the entire task much easier for you.

1. Always be ready

The prime tip for candid wedding photography which I can give is, to be always ready. By that, I mean you must always keep an eye out for moments, and keep that camera ready. Your camera needs to be in your hands and ready to shoot at a moment’s notice. You must set the camera according to the light conditions (settings like the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, etc.) so that you don’t need to fiddle around with the settings while things happen in front of you. (IMG_7211)

IMG 7211

2. Know your equipment

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen photographers miss the shot while they are trying to change the camera settings. You must know the equipment that you are using, inside out. It helps to gauge the light conditions and set the camera accordingly, so that you don’t miss the events that would warrant a picture. It might very well be helpful to have a smaller camera handy, in addition to that big bulky DSLR, just incase.

IMG 6243

3. Use a telephoto zoom lens

Candid photography is all about taking pictures of the bride, groom, guests, etc., from a distance without them noticing you. Nothing will be more helpful in achieving this than a fairly long telephoto zoom lens. I regularly use lenses like a 100mm, 70-200mm or even a 100-400mm when I need to capture those emotions, those candid moments. You can, of course, use any lens you want (something like a 50mm could be helpful too!). But, since candid photography is all about being unobtrusive and capturing those emotions in a natural way, I would suggest using a zoom lens. What it essentially does is helps maintain the intimacy of the picture being taken, which is so important in wedding photography.

IMG 7210

4. Do not use flash

One sure-fire way of getting people to notice you is to use a flash (whether it be the onboard one, or an external flash gun). Not only this, light from a flash can be so unflattering and boring, to put it simply. If there is a dearth of light, you as a photographer need to find other ways to brighten up the scene that you are photographing, either by opening up the aperture, increasing the ISO, slowing up the shutter (to an acceptable range), etc. I understand that by increasing the ISO a little too much, you might include a fair bit of noise into the picture, but the idea is to capture the moment, and there are times when noise is actually a good thing.

IMG 2346

5. Foresee or plan ahead

As a candid wedding photographer, it is your job to foresee what is going to happen, or at least take your best calculated guess. If possible, I’d suggest you visit the location before the wedding so that you can scout out some good locations for taking pictures. If you are unable to go visit the location beforehand, then at least reach the venue well before the function is to start. That way you can scout out not only some great locations to take pictures from, but you can perhaps even scope out the main rooms that will be used for the wedding and the reception. A little bit of planning goes a long way in getting some great shots.

I hope these top five tips will help you the next time you are out photographing a wedding in a candid, documentary style.

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5 Simple Yet Clever Ways to Impress Your Photography Clients

30 Mar

While a satisfied client is the fuel for further sales and word of mouth, an excited client is the jet engine for your marketing. Unfortunately, many photographers don’t know how to turn regular customers into fans.

In this article you’ll find five simple, time-proven techniques of impressing your photography clients and building a long-lasting relationship from an ordinary photo shoot.

1. Be Professional

01 be professional
Image by niekverlaan

You should portray a professional image of yourself right from the beginning. This doesn’t necessarily involve spending hundreds of dollars on premium graphic design services and printed materials. In today’s world we have to deal with poor customer service too often, so being quick with your replies to client requests is an old yet very effective way to impress people.

Another factor contributing to your professional image is your website. It’s the first thing your clients see when they find you on the Internet, so it’s critically important to keep your site accessible and up-to-date. Don’t forget to update your portfolio and copyright information and make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Update information on your site regularly along with the copyright, share some personal stuff on your blog and “about me” page to show that you’re an open and available person, share your interests to make potential clients feel closer to you even before you meet.

Also, take care of your outfits and your entire appearance. No matter what type of photo shoot you’re heading to, make sure you’re dressed appropriately as it will directly affect whether or not you’ll get future jobs from this shoot. A rule of thumb is to avoid busy and loud clothing in favor of smooth colors and neutral style. Consider your own comfort, but probably more importantly, make your clients feel comfortable with you walking around.

2. Be Helpful, Be an Authority

02 be authority

Image by tpsdave

Give your clients an additional reason to book your service by providing exclusive, helpful information. It can be a blog post on how to dress for different types of photo sessions, or you could organize a workshop for moms on how to take great snaps of their children using a smartphone or a pocket camera. The idea is to figure out your clients’ possible knowledge gaps and fill them.

Not only is this a great way to strengthen relationships with your current customers, but it can also help you establish the reputation of being an experienced, leading professional which works as a charm for attracting qualified leads.

3. Get Creative with Bonuses

Every business is interested in long-term relationships with their customers, and photographers should be no exception. Your loyal clients help you find new client, but what do they get in return? Develop a loyalty program for your customer base. An exclusive discount or a free mini-session just for using your services will definitely leave an impact.

03 give bonuses
Image by GLady

Another neat way to please your loyal audience with an unsolicited bonus is creating a personalized product for them. For instance, with Defrozo you can create custom downloadable client galleries for free. The albums look great on both desktop and mobile screens, and can be built within a couple of minutes. The developers of Defrozo also promise full-featured websites for clients available later this year as the project raises funds on Kickstarter. You could also create a sweet, short video showing some backstage moments using Magisto.

Remember that bonuses don’t have to be monetary. It’s attention and a personal approach that will impress people.

4. Be the guy/girl next door

In other words, get to know what interests you have in common and use this info to customize your approach to the needs of your clients.

Fortunately you can make use of social networks. Not all of your clients will use them or share a lot of their personal details, but you can still get to know people you work with better by simply following their social media updates.

04 be the guy next door
Image by Alejandro Escamilla

Another great way to connect with your clients on a personal level can be seen on the website of well-known wedding photographers Justin and Mary Marantz. They simply listed things they like presented as icons accompanied by funny comments on their About page. That’s the information that turns a “leading destination photographer” into a “guy/girl next door” that understands you in a way no other photographer does, and therefore, can be entrusted to photograph one of the most special days of your life. Genius, huh?

5. Follow Up

Following up is important. When done right, it helps you reinforce relationships with your current clients. Besides, it’s a sure way for you to be recommended more often.

05 follow up
Image by Ginger Quip

It’s not uncommon to send your clients a printed Thank You card, along with a photobook or image pack from their session. You could go further and send them an extra print about a month after. Break the mould of typical follow-up messages that are only sent when a business wants to sell something and only include a note that would remind your client about the fun time you had during the photo shoot. It can work great as a feedback request too.

If sending a physical gift does not fit your budget at the moment, writing a detailed blog post about a specific client’s session is a decent alternative. It won’t cost you a penny, but sincere words shared publicly won’t leave them cold, for sure.


It’s sincerity, passion for what you do, and commitment to quality that motivates people to stick around forever. Is that what you can say about your business approach? Congrats, then, you’ve got that wow-factor to impress your clients. Remember that when creating your next marketing campaign and it will work like a charm.

What’s your number-one marketing tactic you use to impress your clients? Share with the community by leaving a comment below!

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Urban Spock: 20 Fascinating Leonard Nimoy Graffiti Tributes

29 Mar

[ By Steve in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

graffiti Spock 0
Mr. Spock, played by the late Leonard Nimoy, was a logically legit pop culture icon. Just ask the many graffiti artists worldwide who have paid him tribute.

graffiti Spock 1

As a science fiction franchise Star Trek is almost a half-century old but elements of the “brand” have been seeping into pop culture for decades. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the appearance of Mr. Spock in street art and graffiti is nothing new though sightings have increased since Nimoy’s passing on February 27th of 2015. The very recent tribute above, credited to graffiti artist Gnasher and officially authorized, can be found on the wall of the Pottergate Underpass in Grapes Hill, Norwich, UK.

Horns of a Dilemma

graffiti Spock 17

We haven’t seen Mr. Spock looking so horny since he was seized with the Vulcan mating urge and attacked Captain Kirk… hey, it’s not what you think (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Flickr user rabauke77 captured this devilish stencil on a Berlin wall (not that one, another one) in September of 2006.

Logical in London

graffiti Spock 2b

graffiti Spock 2a

graffiti Spock 2c

We’re guessing this door in London’s inner city Shoreditch district neither goes “whooosh!” nor leads to the bridge… well, maybe London Bridge but we digress. The trio of images above were captured by three different photographers. Flickr users Martin K (mpk1313) and Chinaman (Deaf Rave) made the scene a mere four days apart in February of 2009 while Marc Davies (MrLomo) arrived about four months later… just in time to witness the storefront being whitewashed! Did Spock survive? We think so: dude’s packin’ a heater.

Keep Feeling Fasination

graffiti Spock 3

London’s old East End seems to appreciate Spock a lot more than Vulcan did. Take the remarkable mural above, signed by artist Paul Donsmith and snapped by Flickr user Frank Long (FrankLong) on March 21st of 2015. We’ll cut Donsmith some slack on his “fasinating” typo – maybe Spock’s trademark expression was, like, trademarked or something.

Vulcan Vegan

graffiti Spock 4a

graffiti Spock 4b

We say Vulcan, you say Vegan, let’s call the whole thing off. This cool stencil of Spock flashing the V (interpret it how you will) sign appeared fairly fresh in August of 2009 when Flickr user José Lodewick spied it on a wall in Brussels, Belgium. By November of 2010, however, Spock’s visage was showing signs of age not to mention a nasty case of creeping moss. Guess the local plant life was feeling encouraged.

Phasers on Stunning

graffiti Spock 20

Beam me up, Scotty… or in this case Swissy, since the vibrant artwork above can be found in a certain Alpine nation famous for its holey cheese. Yeah, let’s all heave a sigh of relief that the Enterprise’s chief engineer was Scottish. In any case, there’s nothing cheesy about the technicolor Spockian homage above, captured by Flickr user Dominik (Sibilus_Basilea) in March of 2011.

Spock Is The Answer

graffiti Spock 15a

Street Art - Meatpacking District

New York City’s Meatpacking District just got more interesting… well, maybe not just – Flickr users shoehorn99 and cbrgss captured the above group paste-up in mid-2009. Here a bouffanted Mr. Spock finds himself in the company of Albert Einstein, Muhammad Ali, and a patient pooch. Odd, we don’t recall that particular episode but it would have been awesome!

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Urban Spock 20 Fascinating Leonard Nimoy Graffiti Tributes

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