Saturday, December 31, 2016

Just under 2 years ago, I decided to permanently leave an industry that I enjoyed & envisioned doing until retirement. Perhaps it was the comfort of being in an industry for more than 11 years that scared to BeJesus out of me to take on a new challenge. _ Despite it only being my 2nd year in business, 2016 was a turning point in my new career as a Photographer. _ You see, before it became a business, Photography was a hobby AND an outlet for me. I never imagined turning it into a business. But here I am...with zero regrets. The beauty is this: I run a business that I thoroughly enjoy like that hobby that it originated from. _ ...And its because of the support of not only those closest to me, not just those pictured here, but because of all of you reading this now. I notice & recognize you all. _ From the bottom of my heart, Thank you!! I am truly blessed & grateful for your support! ­čÖĆ _ 1 love, Shannon Bourque #iTrapTime http://ift.tt/1LW7xnO

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A Review of the Year in Photography 2016

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So, What Just Happened This Past Year?

In general terms, 2016 is a year many of us will want to forget. Celebrity deaths, seismic political changes and many tragedies that unfolded around the world. A bit morbid you might think?

However, in the photographic world, things were a little more upbeat.

the year in photography

Image by Martins Zemlickis

It was, of course, a Photokina year and so there were some pretty substantial releases. Sadly, death took one or two of photography’s greats and trends came and went. Today we are going to have a brief look at what 2016 meant for us photographers.

Capturing Their Last Exposures

Bill Cunningham: 1929-2016: Legendary New York Times fashion and street photographer famous for riding to shoots on a bike.

Bill Cunningham in 2012. By Jiyang Chen under CC BY-SA 3.0

Bill Cunningham in 2012. By Jiyang Chen under CC BY-SA 3.0

David Hamilton: 1933-2016: British art/glamor photographer and film director controversial for his portrayal of young girls in the nude.

Gary Braash: 1945-2016: Widely published environmental photographer and writer. His work was featured in Time, Life as well as the New York Times magazine.

Christopher Serrano: 1991-2016: One of the new generation of Instagram urban exploration photographers died subway surfing in New York

The Year of the Mirrorless

Many of the announcements of this year’s Photokina revolved around the mirrorless system. The biggest but perhaps least unsurprising announcement was Fuji’s GFX 50S, the world’s first mirrorless medium format camera.

Canon continued their attempts on the mirrorless market with the EOS M5 whilst the established players of Panasonic and Olympus both announced new models to their prosumer ranges.

The GFX is set to make a stir in 2017

The GFX is set to make a stir in 2017

Sony continued to cement their claim on the market with the a6500 and Fuji revealed both the XT-2 and X-Pro2 featuring their new updated 24mp X-Trans sensor.

For the heavyweights of the DSLR world, Canon and Nikon, it was a pro model launch year.

Nikon giving us the 21mp D5 and Canon introducing the 20.2mp EOS-1D X Mark II.

The Nikon D5 was one of the big “pro” releases this year. By K─ürlis Dambr─üns

Mobile

In the mobile photography world perhaps the two big releases were the iPhone 7 Plus and the Google Pixel. The former introduce a dual lens system that allowed users to create a bokeh effect whilst the Pixel has become the highest rated smartphone camera on DxOMark and has had rave reviews.

Drones

The drone world saw the disastrous launch of the Go Pro’s Karma.

On launch, it was a well-received rival to DJI’s offerings but shortly after, reports started to come in of Karmas falling from the skies for no reason. A total recall was announced. Shortly after Karma’s launch, DJI announced the Mavic with better specification and it was effectively game over.

Software

In software, we saw some major updates from Adobe to Photoshop and Lightroom. The subscription service continues to allow Adobe to provide more incremental updates.

Serif bought us Affinity Photo 1.4 update an good alternative for Mac users who do not wish to enter the Adobe ecosphere. PhaseOne launched Capture 10 an update to their professional image processing software.

Trends and Fashions

2016 was touted to be the year of video and that seems to have played out. More and more photographers are supplementing their incomes with video work and stock video sales have increased.

The growth of the mirrorless market has facilitated this with cameras capable of high-quality 4K video in small compact bodies.

Another significant trend in the photo/video market was the increasing popularity of three axis brushless gimbals. These marvels of modern technology bring Steadycam style image stabilization to videographers but can also help stabilize low light shots for photographers.

Three axis Gimbals started to make an impact with photographer/filmmakers in 2016. By Dave Dugdale

The year also saw the drone market become mature. Professional and keen enthusiasts found new levels of creativity from flying these remote camera platforms.

Their popularity, however, has spurred on a series of tight regulations from some countries, including Sweden where it is now virtually impossible to legally fly a drone.

Hopefully, as aviation authorities realize the potential of drones, new legislation will be less restrictive or less expensive to receive certification.

The social media platform of the year for photographers was Instagram. Their addition of Stories and images that disappear after 24 hours have made it an important tool for photography marketing.

Google Plus, a platform that showed a lot of potential for photographers, seemed to fade into irrelevance in 2016.

Instagram has gone from faux filters to a serious marketing tool for photographers. By Jens karlsson

So overall, an exciting year in the photographic world. The technological race now seems firmly split between the DLSR and Mirrorless markets with Mirrorless perhaps taking the upper hand.

Some great camera releases, some interesting trends and of course a wealth of beautiful photographs.

Let us know what you think 2017 will bring and what your highlight of 2106 was, as the year in photography comes to a close.




Further Resources

Further Learning

You probably know that Lightstalking has some pretty awesome Lightroom presets you can buy?
Depending on where you’re at with your photography, it might be worth learning how Lightroom works from the ground up.
That’s where this Beautiful Photo Editing course guide can really help you out!

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Jason Row is a British born travel photographer now living in Ukraine. His images have been licensed to companies such as Cunard, Ethiad and Virgin Atlantic as well as multiple newspapers and magazines. As well as shooting stills he is now creating travel stock video in 4K. He maintains a travel stock photography site at Jason Row Photography You can also catch up with him on Facebook at Facebook/TheOdessaFiles
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31. Dezember 2016

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Das Bild des Tages von: Steffen Walther


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Die wichtigsten Fotos der Redaktion 2016

12:26:00 AM

Gestern haben wir Euch dazu aufgerufen Euer Archiv zu durchsuchen und Euer wichtigsten Bild 2016 zu w├Ąhlen. Wie schwer das ist, wissen wir zu gut, denn nat├╝rlich haben wir auch selbst zur├╝ck geblickt und zeigen Euch heute die wichtigsten Bilder der Redaktion. So lernt Ihr auch gleich alle, die dieses Magazin jeden Tag bereichern noch ein wenig besser kennen. Viel Spa├č!

Eine Person l├Ąuft durch karge Landschaft

Chris Hieronimus

Im Herbst bin ich mit meiner Frau durch Israel gereist, gr├Â├čtenteils per Anhalter. Das Bild ist in der W├╝ste Negev entstanden und zeigt einen Teil der faszinierenden, ungastlichen Landschaft. Die Sonne brannte auf den trockenen W├╝stenboden und der Wind blies uns Sandk├Ârner in die Haare.

Die W├╝ste ist von Gebirgen und T├Ąlern durchzogen, in den Wadis bl├╝ht es bei Regen in der sonst eint├Ânigen Umgebung. Mehr als die H├Ąlfte des kleinen Landes nimmt der Negev ein, vom roten bis zum toten Meer.

Die ungastliche W├╝stengegend steht damit im Kontrast zu der immensen Gastfreundschaft, die uns Israelis und Pal├Ąstinenser auf unserer Reise entgegen gebracht haben. Wo immer wir hin kamen, fanden wir offene T├╝ren und einen gedeckten Tisch. Die Menschen, die Landschaft und die K├╝che haben unsere Zeit dort zu einem pers├Ânlichen H├Âhepunkt des Jahres werden lassen.

Christopher Kreymborg

Mein wichtigstes Bild 2016 ist so wichtig, weil es mir gezeigt hat, dass man manchmal einfach ein bisschen Einsatz zeigen muss, um gute Bilder zu schie├čen. Entstanden ist die Aufnahme im Dezember 2016 auf der Seiser Alm in S├╝dtirol. Zusammen mit Florian Wenzel besuchte ich die Gegend im Norden Italiens einfach um ein paar Bilder zu machen. Florian warnte mich bereits vor dem Trip, dass wir wohl etwas fr├╝her aufstehen m├╝ssen, damit wir Bilder bei Sonnenaufgang machen k├Ânnen. Der Wecker klingelte dann tats├Ąchlich um f├╝nf Uhr Morgens und wir machten uns auf den weg, eineinhalb Stunden durch die Serpentinen der Dolomiten um P├╝nktlich zum Sonnenaufgang auf der Seiser Alm zu sein.

Was wir allerdings nicht bedacht haben: Der Sonnenaufgang mag zwar um 7:30 sein, bis die Sonne aber ├╝ber die Gipfel der Berge vor uns steigt, vergeht nochmal gut und gern eine Stunde. Da standen wir also, unsere Kameras fertig im Anschlag, mitten im Dezember auf einem Bergplateau, liefen im Kreis und rieben die H├Ąnde aneinander um uns warm zu halten. Der ganze Aufwand nur f├╝r den einen Moment, f├╝r diese paar wenigen Sekunden in denen die ersten Sonnenstrahlen sich ├╝ber die Berggipfel k├Ąmpfen. Wenn man dann aber die w├Ąrme sp├╝rt, das Bild auf seinem Display sieht und diese besondere Szene auf sich wirken l├Ąsst, wei├č man dass es sich gelohnt hat. So sehr gelohnt dass ich zuk├╝nftig vielleicht ├Âfter mal fr├╝h genug aufstehe, um den Sonnenaufgang zu fotografieren.

Selbstportrait einer Frau im Spiegel mit Kamera in der Hand

Laura Su Bischoff

„Mein Bild des Jahres? Nichts einfacher als das!“, dachte ich, als ich h├Ârte, wir sollten einen Blick in unser Archiv werfen und ein f├╝r uns besonders wichtiges Bild heraussuchen. Doch oft sind die vermeintlich einfachsten Fragen die schwersten, wie sich schon bald herausstellen sollte. Denn je l├Ąnger ich gr├╝belte, desto klarer wurde mir: Ich habe gar kein Bild des Jahres, weil mir jedes einzelne Foto, das ich in den letzten 12 Monaten machte, auf die eine oder andere Weise viel bedeutet.

Die meisten meiner Bilder zeigen einen mir sehr wichtigen Menschen: meinen Freund, enge Vertraute und, in letzter Zeit, vermehrt auch gute neue Bekannte. Entstanden sind all diese Bilder auf gemeinsamen Ausfl├╝gen, gewisserma├čen als pers├Ânliche Andenken an die miteinander verbrachte Zeit. Viele dieser Schnappsch├╝sse h├Ąngen in unserer K├╝che, dem Herzen unserer Wohnung, in der alles zusammenkommt. F├╝r mich ist das sehr privat und pers├Ânlich und in vielen F├Ąllen nicht f├╝r die Augen der ├ľffentlichkeit bestimmt – abgesehen davon, dass „die ├ľffentlichkeit“ an diesen einfachen kleinen Bildern ohnehin nur bedingt Interesse h├Ątte.

Jede neue Erfahrung mit der Kamera lehrt mich aber aufs Neue, wie verbindend die Fotografie im direkten Umgang miteinander sein kann und wie sehr sie mir dabei hilft, meine zuweilen sehr gro├če Scheu zu ├╝berwinden und mich Neuem zu ├Âffnen – selbst, wenn die Fotos noch nicht so ausfallen, wie ich es mir w├╝nsche. Es ist ein Prozess.

Warum zeige ich dann kein Bild dieser Freund*innen, sondern w├Ąhle ein Selbstportrait, das mich mit einem meiner „Lieblingsinstrumente“ zeigt? Ist das nach dem eben Erw├Ąhnten nicht geradezu paradox? Nun, einerseits m├Âchten sehr viele meiner Freund*innen m├Âglichst wenig im Internet „ausgestellt“ werden, andererseits fotografiere ich nicht in erste Line f├╝r die Allgemeinheit, sondern f├╝r mich und meine Bekannten. Insofern ist das ausgew├Ąhlte Selbstportrait ein Symbolbild und versinnbildlicht den Entstehungsprozess hinter der Kamera. Denn jedes Foto ist unabh├Ąngig vom tats├Ąchlich Abgebildeten immer auch ein Spiegel des eigenen Ich.

Eine Frau schaut ins Nichts.

Marit Beer

Dieses Bild ist der Anfang einer Winter-Serie mit dem Namen “Atlantis”. Es zeigt einen sch├Ânen Menschen mit versteinerten Blick, der in eine Zukunft schaut die zur Vergangenheit wird. Der Kragen des Kleides symbolisiert ein T├╝rschloss, dessen Schl├╝ssel die Menschen jedoch verloren haben. Mein Lieblingsbuch ist “Die unendliche Geschichte” von Michael Ende und so m├Âchte ich, wie er, an die kindliche Kaiserin glauben und an Bastian, der ihren Namen endlich ausspricht, damit das Dunkle nicht ├╝ber alles herein bricht und die Phantasie wieder in die Herzen der Menschen Einzug h├Ąlt.

Ein Foto einer Karte mit Route

Tabea Borchardt

Dieses Bild ist f├╝r mich das Wichtigste des Jahres, da es eine f├╝r mich sehr wichtige Zeitspanne markiert und visuell darstellt – meinen 2,5 Monate andauernden Aufenthalt in Senegambia – inklusive der markierten Reiseroute. Die Zeit dort war sehr pr├Ągend f├╝r mich, hat mich eng verbunden mit den Menschen vor Ort, meiner besten Freundin mit der ich dort war und mit mir selbst. Au├čerhalb meiner Komfortzone ist mir klar geworden wie vieles wir hier in Deutschland als so selbstverst├Ąndlich erachten, dass wir uns daran nicht mehr erfreuen k├Ânnen und der Arbeit die dahinter h├Ąufig steht, keine Bedeutung mehr beimessen.

Besonders im Hinblick auf die teils verzerrten, ├╝berspitzten Darstellungen im Kontext der sogenannten Fl├╝chtlingskrise, die pauschalisierte Betrachtungsweise einzelner Bev├Âlkerungsgruppen, war der Aufenthalt in einem friedlichen, muslimischen Land mit einer fremden Kultur sehr wichtig f├╝r mich um eine wirkliche eigene Meinung entwickeln zu k├Ânnen und mir der wichtigen Differenzierungen klar zu werden und mich ernsthaft mit dem was um uns herum noch auf der Welt geschieht auseinander zu setzen.

Die Abbildung der Karte fungiert f├╝r mich als Erinnerungsst├╝tze ebenso wie als Darstellung davon, wie klein der Teil Afrikas war, den ich bereist habe. Dieses Bild soll mich nie vergessen lassen was ich habe, wovon ich zehre und wie gleich die Menschen sich sind, egal wie gro├č die Unterschiede auf den ersten Blick scheinen m├Âgen.

Eine Frau steht auf einem Baum ├╝ber dem Wasser

Katja Kemnitz

2016 war ein schweres Jahr und etwas leichter wurde es durch eine wunderbare Freundin, die ich im Fr├╝hjahr gewonnen habe. Simone ist nicht nur ein wunderbar kreativer Mensch, mit der ich viel vor und hinter der Kamera gearbeitet habe, sondern sie ist auch eine der wichtigsten Personen in meinem Leben geworden. Ich mag das Foto von ihr, denn es zeigt wie sch├Ân, aber gleichzeitig auch was f├╝r eine starke Frau sie ist.

Portrait einer Katze mit ├╝berkreuzten Vorderpfoten

Aileen Wessely

Ich hatte kurz gez├Âgert, hier mit Katzencontent um die Ecke zu kommen, aber dann wollte ich ehrlich sein: Wichtigstes Bild? Dieses! Das abgebildete, sehr elegante Tier ist Mona und seit ein paar Monaten bei uns. Wenn sie nicht gerade posiert, ist sie einfach eine sehr liebe Hauskatze ohne All├╝ren.

Meine „richtige“ Kamera hatte ich so „richtig“ im Sommer das letzte Mal in der Hand. In den letzten Jahren hatte ich ohnehin kaum noch Zeit (und Antrieb) f├╝r pers├Ânliche Projekte, sie kommt also nur noch f├╝r Auftragsarbeiten aus dem Schrank. Im Urlaub und unterwegs nutze ich manchmal die SX-70, um ein paar Polaroids als Erinnerungen an sch├Âne Momente festzuhalten.

Sowohl die DSLR als auch die Instantkamera machen Klickger├Ąusche, vor denen Mona wohl Rei├čaus nehmen w├╝rde, daher sind bisher alle Fotos von ihr mit meinem Fairphone gemacht. Die Qualit├Ąt der Handybilder ist erstaunlich gut und nachbearbeitbar, wenn ich bedenke, dass die Lichtverh├Ąltnisse in der Wohnung winters nicht so toll und es nur JPGs sind.

Im n├Ąchsten Jahr nehme ich dann die „richtige“ Kamera mal wieder „richtig“ in die Hand und fotografiere f├╝r den Tierschutz einige der anderen Katzen, die auf den Pflegestellen noch darauf warten, dass sie endlich in ein sch├Ânes Zuhause zu f├╝rsorglichen Dosen├Âffner*innen umziehen k├Ânnen.

Meine Erkenntnis der letzten Zeit: Viele Dinge, mit denen ich mich bisher besch├Ąftigt habe, sind gar nicht mehr wichtig, sobald sich der Blick auf die Wesen (seien es nun Tiere oder Menschen) richtet, die Hilfe brauchen. Mit meinen Fotos und meiner Zeit kann ich helfen, also tue ich es.

Frauenbeine mit einer Blutspur und eine Kan├╝le in der Armvene.

Anne Henning

Mein wichtigstes Foto 2016 ist im Krei├čsaal entstanden. Es zeigt mich unmittelbar nach der Geburt meiner Tochter, die auch der Grund ist warum ich seit ein paar Monaten in Babypause bin und Kwerfeldein erst wieder im neuen Jahr unterst├╝tzen werde. Ich h├Ątte nat├╝rlich auch ein Foto des Kindes ausw├Ąhlen k├Ânnen, davon gibt es gen├╝gend, aber meine Wahl fiel dennoch auf dieses Bild.

Zum einen weil es den Startschuss in unser neues Leben symbolisiert, ein Leben, das ich mir in all seinen ├ťberraschungen und Abenteuern, die da auf uns zukommen werden, noch nicht vorstellen kann. Ab jetzt sind wir wirklich zu Dritt, das ist schon eine unglaubliche Tatsache, an die man sich erstmal gew├Âhnen muss: Aus einem Paar wird eine Familie.

Zum anderen ist es f├╝r mich genau dieses Foto, weil es unverbl├╝mt und ehrlich ist, es zeigt blutige Beine, den Zugang in der Vene, Krankenhausunterw├Ąsche und den immer noch dicken Bauch. Denn nach einer nat├╝rlichen Geburt sieht man eben nicht aus wie die Frauen in den Babyzeitschriften – d├╝nn, geschminkt und mit einem rosigen Zehn Pfund Baby auf dem Arm.

Eine Geburt ist einfach ein wahnsinnig schmerzhaftes, intensives und anstrengendes Erlebnis, f├╝r Mama, Papa und Baby. Ich bin stolz das gemeistert zu haben, und das Foto ist vielleicht mein kleiner pers├Ânlicher Protest gegen Kaiserschnitt nach Plan, das verzerrte oder tabuisierte Bild von Geburt oder Sch├Ânheitdideale im Wochenbett, denn das Wunder des Lebens sieht nunmal so aus. Und das ist sch├Ân so.

Und wer sich wie ich f├╝r ehrliche Bilder frischgebackener M├╝tter interessiert, dem kann ich nur Rineke Dijkstras Serie „Mothers“ von 1994 ans Herz legen.

Die Aktion in der wir Euer Wichtigstes Bild suchen geht noch bis zum 11. Januar. Macht gern mit! Wir freuen uns auf Eure Geschichten und Bilder. Wie das geht, erfahrt Ihr hier.


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Friday, December 30, 2016

Time Trap Portrait Instagram Photo - December 30, 2016 at 10:48AM

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#flashbackfriday to a lifestyle shoot this beautiful soul. Ericah Howard Modeling #nofilter #downtownsacramento #beauty #style #westcoastliving #iTrapTime #timetrap_portraits

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I am safe in your arms, Daddy! #happyholidays #family #love #fathersonbond #iTrapTime #timetrap_portraits http://ift.tt/1LW7xnO

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Contemplation. Dramatically Improving Your Photography With Reading

8:01:00 AM
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What Types of Images Are Inspiring You As a Photographer?

This is not a revolutionary and technological thought, nor is this the biggest secret to becoming better in photography.

The following text only talks about a different approach to your huge love of photography. I’m simply inviting you to spend amazing quality time with valuable images instead of just endlessly scrolling through images.

improving your photography with reading

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Improving Your photography With Reading

Contemplative reading is a term that I took away from an academic lecture, and I’m sure our teacher took it from the religious term “Lectio Divina“, which states that good reading must include at least: reading, contemplation and even meditation at some points, to be considered a good reading of a text.

This good reading invites the lecturer to form a deeper and more analytical interpretation of what’s going on in the text or the visual asset per se.

Contemplative reading in photography goes a step further because you’ll be reading no literal words, but you’ll be able to apply every possible meaning contained in the image to your own life, and especially to your own identity.

Image by Shuai Guo

Image by Shuai Guo

Personally, I think that contemplative reading is enriched by reducing the speed at which we’re used to consuming content these days, especially through online platforms. By doing this, we open the door to

By doing this, we open the door to reflective and critical understanding of the pieces we are observing. I think that contemplative reading is easier to practice when the visual content can be seen outside a screen in a more tangible form.

Still, I’ve discovered there’s a simple trick to avoid distractions while surfing the web – just go to full-screen mode when you find an image that deserves a contemplative reading. It works, trust me – have a go yourself!

Images become more suggestive when we give them the chance to pitch us their messages; but to do that, we at least have to be sharp and sensitive in order to identify those images that have something beautiful, amazing, and meaningful to say.

Not every image will tell a great story, but a great story can come from any image.

Contemplative Reading – The Process 

The contemplative reading process begins before you see a single picture. It starts with your own mindset, making it more aware and sensitive to the images you constantly see, and discerning as to whether the story is meaningful or not.

Here’s a Scenario

Let’s imagine we are surfing our favorite photography-sharing websites, and then we stumble across a certain image that catches our attention.

Instead of just giving it a simple like, make it full-screen and grab a small notebook (nothing fancy, you’re allowed to be messy) and start listing the things you like the most about the image. Just brainstorm over the thing.

It could be the composition, the color palette, the elements inside it, or outside, etc. Start doing some analog work, because at the end this is going to be a personal approach to your love of photography.

Image by Federico Alegr├şa

Image by Federico Alegr├şa

The Benefits of This Style

It helps to Create Better Critiques

Critique helps to enhance the evolution of a photographer, without a doubt. Building a solid learning experience based on critique works in two ways: you can either receive good constructive critiques, and/or you can give solid elaborated helpful critiques.

That said, contemplative reading helps you build solid comments on others’ photographs, and also write a good statement that gives your work a conceptual basis.

Imagine what the wonderful world of photography could be if we all received solid, deep comments on our works, instead of mere likes or seemingly endless gear-related questions?

Image by S├Şren Astrup J├Şrgensen

Image by S├Şren Astrup J├Şrgensen

Just do a small exercise, without sharing it at first. Select images you love, images that moved your soul the first time you saw them, and write a small paragraph about how the images made you feel. Then try to answer small and simple, yet powerful questions about:

  • How the image makes you feel.
  • What does the image tell you?

And if you have any suggestions to make that enhance these prior statements, you can also write about:

  • How the image could be enhanced?
  • Why your suggestion could enhance what you’re feeling in the image.

It doesn’t matter if the image was taken by a friend of yours or a great master like Henri Cartier-Bresson. These texts are for you, and nobody else.

It Helps Build a Personal Visual Criteria

Thanks to the massive bombardment of images we are exposed to every day, one of the biggest challenges of our time is that it’s become harder to have an educated visual culture. But contemplative reading can save our way of doing things thanks to its slow-paced methodology.

Image by Freestocks

Image by Freestocks

It takes only 5 to 15 minutes to perform a good contemplative reading of an image with no distractions, and with total focus on the images.

While I’m here, I remembered this short French movie called La Jet├ęe which is only 26 or so minutes long but illustrates a series of powerful images put together with narration. It’s interesting to see how you feel “reading” the images.

Every image you observe in a slow-paced way will remain longer in your memory, so you’ll be increasing your personal collection of visual assets.

If we consume good images and digest them correctly,
we’ll speak in a more refined visual language when creating our images.

Finding Your Favorite Images

Having a bunch of favorite images is really important, and I must say that I personally don’t have a single favorite image, but certainly a good group of favorites.

One of my all-time favorite images is the portrait of Marina Ginestà shot by Juan Guzmán during the Spanish Civil War. The image may not be massively iconic, but it transmits a great power thanks to the fearless youth of the young communist militant girl.

I tend to revisit my all-time favorite images to seek inspiration, and the messages I get from them become stronger and stronger each time.

Summary

Maybe the term “Contemplative Reading” sounds fancy and overpriced; but in the end, the concept is simple and that’s the exact message I wanted to convey here.

Just start looking at images at a slower pace, and try to analyze them with a passionate eye. We love photography, we love making images, and we love seeing them, so the task should be easier than you first imagine.




Improving Your Photography With Reading – Top Takeaways

  • Through Contemplative reading, we’re able to develop a deeper understanding of photography and most importantly, other’s work. This means commenting can be more constructive and valuable.
  • Try looking at images for a longer period of time, distraction-free. Use a full-screen mode on your computer or smartphone and take a few minutes to sink into what you’re really observing.

Further Resources

Further Learning

Feel a little stuck in your photography?
Well, learn to dramatically improve your Creative Output with the Fun and Challenging Assignments From the Creativity Catalog!

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Why Should Photographers Wake Up Earlier Than Everybody Else?

8:01:00 AM
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Ok Photographers, Here are Some Huge Benefits of Waking up Early Morning

Good morning! That’s the sound of an enthusiastic photographer out on location before the sun is even thinking about making an appearance. Today. we’ve got a host of reasons to roll out of bed that extra bit early…

benefits of waking up early morning

Image by Bolun Yan

The Sheer Beauty of Dawn

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the period before sunrise, usually around 5 AM, is the most peaceful part of the day. While others still sleep and dream, you should be up and achieving your dreams.

Perhaps a little poetic, but it actually proves to be a great strategy, especially for landscape photographers.

Sunrises have more color casts when compared to sunsets. Mainly due to the angle of the Earth’s axis, and the fact that in the morning the atmosphere is a tad bit cleaner (no movement because everything is asleep, i.e. exhaust fumes from the cars and factories etc).

Additionally, in the morning it is much colder, therefore ice formations such as hard rime are pretty common. And when you have temperature differences in moist air, chances of a rainbow are quite good too.

Photo by Lies Thru a Lens

During the morning periods mist is a common occurrence too, so skilled photographers make awesome images involving mist, especially on elevated areas in the morning.

So, if you start as an “early bird” photographer, the first thing you’ll want to photograph is the sun itself. The sun is always a good subject in landscape shots, however, it can certainly be a bit tricky to capture.

If you’ve tried, you already know that if you expose properly for the sun everything else will be pitch black, then recovering it introduces heaps of noise, a bunch of lost details and so forth.

So, what to do?

Landscape photographers never leave their house without a gradual neutral density (GND) filter and a circular polarizer filter (CPL).

benefits of waking up early morning

Image by Pok Rie

Gear Essentials – Check You’ve Got These

A Gradual Neutral Density filter will help you tone down the sun which will allow for the lower part of the image to be properly exposed. You can probably pull it off with HDR as well, but results vary, and if it is windy it will introduce ghosting etc.

Even if the sun is not in the frame, the use of a GND can be used to achieve darker skies. More blue and darker skies can be achieved using the Circular Polarizer Filter too.

The effect between CPL and GND filters, of course, differs. since GND just reduces

A GND just reduces the amount of light reaching the sensor by a given amount, while the CPL reduces reflections. And since the atmosphere has loads of gases and pollution, light is being reflected through those particles, but the CPL can effectively reduce reflected light.

However, the CPL doesn’t provide even reduction on wider lenses, so use it with caution in these instances.

When you head out to photograph the rising sun, you’ll want to grab a lens cleaner kit and your lens hoods. Cleaning the lens when you photograph sunrises is important since the light will be hitting your lens directly thus lighting up every single particle on your lens.

It can result in white or washed out spots on the picture. Lens hoods will be useful when you photograph scenes with the sun almost out or at an unusual angle in comparison to your camera.

This can cause flare and glare – sometimes wanted, but not always! Lens hoods can reduce or eliminate that.

benefits of waking up early morning

Image by Pitsch

Lens flare is often used creatively, but you need to hit it just right for it to look good and not ruin the picture. When you don’t want that using lens hood helps quite a bit.

Glare, on the other hand, is occurring when light hits the lens directly thus effectively reducing contrast and making the image look softer. Lens hoods counter that to a certain extent, at least some reduction is better than no reduction at all.

Additionally, even though you will be using fast shutter speeds because you’ll have plenty of light, it is wise to bring a sturdy tripod with you, mostly to eliminate handshake.

It’s definitely easier to check focus and adjust properly when your camera is being held by something else rather than your hands.

Getting Up Early is Not Just For Nature Lovers

Lastly, make sure that you don’t limit yourself. You’ll probably venture the nature, forests, cliffs and so forth, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll photograph landscapes only at this time of the morning.

Yes, that’s usually the main goal, but be aware of your surroundings. You might stumble upon some wildlife or interesting flower formations etc. Be prepared to bust out a longer lens or a macro lens too.

Photo by Alanpaone

Look After Yourself Too

Of course, bring some food and water, because you never know what might happen – you’ve always got to be prepared, even if you intend on only shooting for an hour or less.

In terms of non-photographic gear,

  1. You should probably bring a GPS enabled device (a smartphone is perfect) and an external battery charger.
  2. Make sure you have all the maps available offline (in case you go out of signal range for your cell phone).
  3. Bring an old school compass as well, in case the GPS fails you (or your smartphone just dies unexpectedly).
  4. Lastly, make sure people know where you are headed and for how long you should be there, because if something happens, they will know where and when to look for you.

Got more questions or some images to share? Feel free to use the comments section below or the forums.

Summary

I hope you found this guide of tips useful, I enjoyed putting these tips I’ve learned, together in one place. Aside from having the right gear on you, it’s important for photographers to experience a different time of day and place for that.

Often you could be up at a crazy hour, but the difference is, you’re at home stumbling around trying to find the ground coffee pot instead of being ready and setup out in the great outdoors!




Benefits of Waking Up Early Morning – Top Takeaways

  • Being up before the masses is just plain peaceful. It provides you with time to channel your creativity, think about what you want to capture through your lens and above all, experience the beauty of nature whilst the city sleeps.
  • Try to make this a habit once a month, as a regular thing throughout the year – even if you’re a portrait or street photographer, it will challenge you to something different!

Further Resources

Further Learning

Here’s an in-depth guide on understanding light, which as you know, can result in amazing sunrise photographs!
To help you on the path to that wisdom, do check out the Understanding Light guide on Photzy.

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Photographer who loves challenging and experimental photography and is not afraid to share the knowledge about it.
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Sourced by Time Trap Photography sharing the best photography tips, news and tricks throughout the industry. Time Trap Photography is dedicated to freezing those special moments in life that can be revisited and admired for generations to come. - Shannon Bourque
Please visit our main site for booking availability and rates.



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Time Trap Photography is dedicated to freezing those special moments in life that can be revisited and admired for generations to come. - Shannon Bourque

The lens in focus

“Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.” — Unknown

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