Holding a digital camera properly
It’s hard to get candid shots with a tripod, and while blur reduction, this function works taking multiple images and creating a composite to form one finished photo, draining battery life and taking more time between photos. Fortunately, these aren’t the only ways to get clear, sharp pictures. These tips will help you get the right grip and body position to reduce the effect of muscle movement, pulse and wind on camera position. Continue Reading →
Cleaning your DSLR camera Lens
This article will present some useful techniques that can be used to effectively and safely clean your DSLR lens. Regular cleaning and maintenance should be a normal occurrence with any camera and its accessories. Cleaning a DSLR lens does require a certain level of care and attention, but you don’t have to be anxious about the process. Although you want to make sure that you clean the lens on a consistent basis, you don’t want to make the mistake of cleaning it too often. Cleaning the lens when it’s not dirty can cause damage. Continue Reading →
Your fireplace keeps your living area, bedroom, kitchen – virtually any corner of your home – warm during the chilly winter. Although it primarily serves the purpose of sparing you from hypothermia, it does not mean that you should leave your hearth drab, dusty and ugly. If you find your fireplace too simple – shabby even – you can make the space look better with artwork. Here are some examples of great fireplace artwork – guaranteed to give your inglenook the upgrade that it deserves.
Cheesy as it might seem, an artwork featuring your family or loved ones is one of the best paintings to hang above the fireplace. Of course, it is better if the aura of the picture jives with the fireplace design – and the room interiors as well. For example, if you have a Victorian-style inglenook set in an elegant room, go for a formal, traditional picture. But if you have a modern place, monochromatic pictures – an abstracted one even – can be the perfect piece of the design puzzle.
Black and White Pictures
If you want a cheap and great way to decorate your fireplace, then go for a framed black and white pictures. It can be a generic image such as a tree or a park bench – but remember, what matters is that it is hung and framed well. This artwork is advisable for modern, structured homes with simple decors and minimal furniture.
If you love nature, then an environment-themed artwork over your fireplace will make your space great. Simple designs – such as tree branches or a plain farmland – might look boring at first, but they can usher the calming beauty of nature right inside your home. However, if you want a piece that pops right out, then go for environmental artworks made of bright colors. Great examples include floral paintings, such as that of tulips and sunflowers. With these artworks, your visitors will barely notice the dreary bricks your hearth is made out of.
If your inglenook is located inside your bedroom, then you will want an over-the-fireplace artwork that will make you feel calm and relaxed. For this situation, avoid artworks made with bright colors or stimulating figures or scenes. In order to hasten your path towards dreamland, hang peaceful images above your fireplace. Great examples include that of the sunset or a tranquil beach.
Apart from artwork, unique fixtures can add some spice to your boring fireplace. Plastic or metal sculptures made of spheres or cubes can add a new dimension to your room. If you want to have a modern, futuristic fireplace – but dislike abstract paintings – then these fixtures should be your primary choice. A nice wrought iron wood holder works well with a rustic or colonial style. Such a fixture would keep firewood available and decorative at the same time.
If you have a black fireplace, then it is essential that you have light-colored walls. In order to make your hearth pop out, make sure to hang a contrasting piece of artwork above it. If you have a modern style house with a black and white motif, an invoking piece of abstract design will do the trick. While a painting utilizing the colors inside your room is a good fit, an artwork with pops of color will make your boring fireplace stand out.
If you are an artist, go wild and paint all over your fireplace. Coat the surface first with a single color and let your imagination run wild. Draw a figure or an abstract piece – it all depends on you!
Usually we don’t think of male pro athletes as artistic types, after all the ultra manly image that the media creates for these people is hardly in line with artistic, nuanced behavior. We like to think of them more as people who spend their time in night clubs, and driving sports cars. In light of this it might surprise you, but there are several sports personalities who paint, and do it quite well. Let’s look at who are the most famous athletes, who can not only turn the pitch on fire moving around in their shoes and sport socks, they can also design magical things on a canvas.
These athletes can be a source of inspiration, that you can paint as well. If you have been putting off designing your own artwork because you had to go running after getting home from the office, you should just sneak in a little bit of time during the weekend in order to paint your own pictures.
Kieran Richardson is a professional soccer player, who came through the academy of Manchester united, arguably the biggest club in world soccer. Since then he went on to play for Sunderland, Fulham and West Bromwich Albion, and he is an expert painter. He is so good, that in his autobiography his former manager at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson claimed to have a painting made by Richardson in his office at the club’s training ground.
The only reason I had to call the sport soccer in the previous paragraph is that I am going to talk about an American football player who paints in this paragraph. Larry Johnson was a very successful member of such teams as the Miami Dolphins, the Washington Redskins, the Kansas City Chiefs and not last the Cincinnati Bengals. His art is very colorful, and it is largely influenced by popular culture, such as Hollywood films, modern music and of course football.
It might be less shocking but there are painters in the snow boarding community as well. The sport has been associated with graffiti just like skateboarding has, so it is not that surprising that some skateboarders are happy to apply their trade on a canvas. Jamie M. Lynn is known for his unique skateboard design, which feature only one or two colors per skateboard. He started out first when he wanted to stand out from the skateboarding community, his quest for originality made him a premier contemporary artist.
Red Hong Yi is not a world renowned soccer player, but based on his skills with the ball, he might deserve some fame and fortune. He created portraits of World Cup stars by kicking a paint-covered ball at a canvas. I have to admit that I could not make paintings of such quality, even if I could use my hands.
Jeremy Evans is another person who mixed art with sports. He is a pro basketball player, who made a rather interesting painting of himself slam dunking the ball into the basket, and then he proceeded to carry out the act of the dunk over the painting. The whole act took place during the slam dunk championship during the 2013 All-Star weekend. Jeremy claims that it took him two weeks to finish the painting for the event.
If you have ever seen a running event, you must have been amazed by the colorful tide of runners passing you by. A marathon or even a half-marathon is a wonderful event to take photos at, but it is also very hard to do that. The athletes look beautiful in their colorful running equipment, the sea of sports jackets create a spectacular wave of colors. The runners are passing you by quickly one second you see the perfect moment to take a picture, the next moment it is gone forever. You also have to deal with plenty of distractions, like the cheerful spectators, who stand in front of your camera, and ask you all kinds of questions. These questions are not annoying, but certainly make it harder to concentrate on work. Taking pictures at a running event is not exactly like taking photos of a sunset. These tips will enable you to take the best pictures possible at running events.
I have seen far too many blurred pictures in my life. In order to make sure that your pictures are crystal clear, you must use a fast shutter speed. If you are working in good visibility conditions, you need to take a photo every 1/500th of a second. Another good gadget to have on your camera is a panning effect, which makes the background blurry, but the object crisp. This way you can make excellent photos of runners where they seem to move very fast. This effect can be achieved with a feature called a panning effect, which moves the camera at the same speed it takes images. You should use a camera with an auto focus function. When the athletes are running past you, keep the auto focus on all the time, so the runners will always look sharp on your pictures.
One mistake I see many rookie photographers make is taking one photo, and instantly checking whether it turned out to be alright, or not. Due to how quickly things change during a running race, it is much better to take as many photos as you can, and check them when the race is over. You only see a particular runner go past you once, so make it count.
Another thing that can ruin photos of athletes is bad composition. There are some compositions that just don’t look right, for example if you don’t include the whole face of a runner in a photo. Less obvious examples include chopping off the leg below the knee. These compositions look unnatural. As a rule of thumb I use two compositions. If I want to capture the body of a person, I include the whole runner, head to toe. If I want to show emotions, or how hard they are trying I include the head and upper torso only. A few of my best pictures are showing the pain on the face of injured runners, I made those photos with the latter type of composition.
I give you a tip about location for last. In the most popular marathons, like the Sydney, London, or New York events you have to be vary of many spectators. I had multiple photos ruined by somebody stepping in front of my camera just as I was about to take a picture. The less you let such things happen, the bigger chance you have of making excellent photos. I advise you to rent a room with a window facing the race, and watch the runners go by from there. That way you can be comfortable, and you can concentrate on your work.
As a photography enthusiast and dog owner, I have a love-hate relationship with summer. Taking snapshots at the beach, painting summer sunsets or simply enjoying the heat are some of my favorite things to do with my furry friend always tagging along. Unfortunately, summer is also that season when those nasty dog fleas also want to come out and play. Because I always employ preventative measures to avoid the hassle and the trouble, I never thought it would happen to me. But it did. And worse, those little troublemakers invaded my painting room of all places in the house.
So allow me to vent out and also to help people with a flea infestation problem. For today, we’ll take a break from talking about painting, drawing and photography and instead talk about how my dog and I got a handle of the problem.
As soon as I spotted fleas in my painting room, I got to work immediately. Based on what I learned from my research, my vet and from other people, the best way to get rid of an infestation is to treat both the root of the problem – my dog obviously – and the environment.
Operation flea treatment started with me treating my dog. I gave him a thorough bath using the flea shampoo my vet recommended. Afterwards, I used a flea comb on him to remove adult fleas that managed to stay alive after the shampoo application. While tending to my dog, I also washed literally everything that has come in contact with my dog including his beddings and other fabric items I suspect infected with fleas.
Treat the Painting Room
With my dog all cleaned up, I went ahead and got started with the painting room. Now, this part can be tricky and time consuming. I have most of my work, my supplies for painting and drawing right here. I want to get rid of all fleas but I also don’t want to ruin any of my stuff. What I did was carefully vacuum everything. From the carpet to my supplies and every crevices of the room, no nook or cranny was spared. Then I finished off the treatment with a flea treatment spray.
Treat the Rest of the House
When it comes to flea problems, never take any chances. After treating my dog and the painting room, I went ahead and cleaned the rest of the house. I vacuumed and sprayed the living room including the carpet, rags and couch and pretty much every other room in the house where my dog has been. To cap everything off, I also treated the yard and sprayed the outdoors.
Employ Aggressive Preventative Measures
Never wanting to go through the same ordeal again, I repeated the treatment to my dog and the painting room for several more days. I also took my vet’s advice and tips for a healthy dog by bathing him regularly and by getting an all-natural flea and tick preventative product which I have to apply each month to prevent fleas from coming back.
Ever wonder why professional models look so flawless in their photos, but your amateur instagram shots leave you looking oily and gross. Well if you want to look flawless in pictures, it is important to do your makeup just right. The camera can either be your friend or your enemy, it all depends on whether you prepare yourself well beforehand or not. If you are getting ready to do a photo shoot, and do not have a professional makeup artist on hand to help you, then read on, because these tips are invaluable in helping you to create a perfect look.
The first thing you need to remember is that your skin is your canvass, and so preparing your skin to look its best is essential. Two days before your photo shoot you should exfoliate your skin and apply a deep cleansing and moisturizing mask. This will help to clean out the impurities in your pores but also give your skin enough time to heal before the shoot . If you feel that you are too pale, then applying a fake tanning product the day before the shoot can be a good idea. The day of the shoot, you should cleanse and moisturize your skin and neck. Specifically for photo shoots you should avoid using a moisturizer with an spf as this will make your skin look oily, something you desperately want to avoid . Always remember to blend everything really well. The key in this stage is to mattify your skin and control its oil production, so use a moisturizer that is oil free.
Applying foundation for a photo shoot is more complicated than your simple every day routine, and requires the use of several products for maximum effect. The first step is to use a makeup primer, this is important because it will create a clear canvass for you to apply the rest of your makeup. Apply the primer to your entire face and neck area and blend well. Afterwards apply foundation, it is best to use foundation that is specifically designed for photo’s, such as photo ready or high definition foundation. In general foundation for photo shoots is more full in coverage and contains light reflecting technology that helps to minimize pores and eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. Whatever you do avoid products like tinted moisturizers or bb or cc creams when preparing for a photo shoot, these products are far too light in coverage for the camera. The next step is concealer which should be dabbed around the eyes and in places where you have blemishes. It should be blended really well into the skin, and for best results choose a concealer that is one shade lighter than your natural skin tone and contains a yellow undertone. Because the camera tends to not show the natural color of your cheeks, you should use a cheek stain that is well blended into your cheek bones to create the illusion of rosy cheeks. Finally once you’ve done all of the above, you need to seal in the makeup by applying a loose powder on top. Use a sheer loose powder that is either high definition or mineral veil. And voila you now have photo ready skin, time for the eyes and lips.
Eye Shadow and Lip Stick:
For eye shadow and lipstick there really are no concrete rules, however your best bet is to stick with matte eye shadow and light colored lipstick. Eye liner is essential in order to bring out your eyes, but avoid using too much of it, apply it subtly so that your eyes don’t drown in it. It is best to use either a charcoal black or a dark brown shade when choosing eyeliner. For lips the same rule applies, use lip liner, however don’t choose a shade that is too dark and make sure to blend the lip liner very well into your lips, and apply a light matte lipstick or sheer lip gloss on top.
And all done, if you follow these tips well, you are sure of creating a camera friendly face that is ready to shine. Smile!
If you have ever paid a visit to Ireland, then I hope you had the opportunity to visit the Green Glens of Antrim. Aside from their rugged beauty, they are home to the Giant’s Causeway, the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge and miles of beautiful coastline. I can think of no better place for an artist to set up his canvas, and paint some of the most beautiful landscapes on planet Earth.
These glens, in which I was born, have been fully recognised by groups like the National Trust, Lonely Planet and indeed there are many reviews written on Trip Advisor that speak in high regards of the natural and outstanding beauty you will see there. One of the most famous artists who captured these wonderful images was a man known as Sam McLarnon. Not only did he paint there himself but he has inspired many other artists to do the same. Sam painted in both watercolour and also in oils. My own preference is for the watercolours as somehow they just have a natural way of capturing the amazing skies, and the seas that surround the beautiful glens.
Sadly he is no longer with us, but thankfully we still have many of his paintings to look at. He was a great ambassador for the North Antrim coast of Ireland and I did have the pleasure of meeting him. I was in a local barber’s shop having a wet shave, and Sam was in the chair beside me. Sam was born in the port town of Larne and his paintings are now hanging in homes all over the world.
Take a walk around the bays of Ballycastle, Portrush and many other seaside towns and you will see many artists painting and sketching. They like myself were inspired by Sam, who was the most modest of men, and yet an extremely inspiring artist. Sam lived and breathed art and in truth he was interested in little else. He was a member of many local art clubs and helped a great number of aspiring artists. He also helped out with charities such as The Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) and he sponsored a school in the Third World.
As we chatted it was plain to see that he loved to talk about painting, and he loved to talk about the Glens. If you have never been there, you will know what I mean, and if you have never seen them, then treat yourself some day. You need no more inspiration than to see Dunluce Castle, the Bushmill’s Distillery and then drive along the coast and just breathe in the natural beauty that it offers in abundance.
When the straight razor had finished its work on me, I was more inspired than ever to grab my sketch book and make my way to my old home town of Ballycastle. I had seen a picture once where Sam McLarnon had captured the area of Fair Head, in oils. Sadly oils are not my skill, but I love to sketch. Sam was in his life time someone who taught art, but I was never one of his pupils. How I wish I had known and had the opportunity to learn from a Master.
There are other artists like Brenda Graham, Eileen Emerson and Paul McCaughlan who have their own take on these beautiful Glens. For me though no-one quite captured it like Sam McLarnon. He will be sadly missed but his paintings shall live on for any years to some.
This weekend I decided to have some fun with my two daughters and do a little photo shoot in the backyard. They’d been asking me all week to help them out with a “school project” and take some fun pictures, but after seeing them uploaded on Facebook, I am starting to wonder if they weren’t more for personal use. Either way, I am happy to spend some time with the girls and have a few laughs to boot!
Before we began the shoot, the girls really wanted to map out their ideas and make sure we were all on the same page. Of course, they pulled out their latest editions of ‘Elle’ and ‘Teen Vogue’ and showed me some examples of what they thought was ‘cool’. After getting an idea of what they wanted, we decided we’d be able to snag a couple of pretty cool shots in the yard.
The girls showed me some ads run by their all time favorite clothing brand, LaCoste, which had some pretty cool action shots of models in a run/jump caught in mid air. I was happy we could all agree on this theme (as some of the ads those magazines put in front of children these days are much more provocative than when I was young!).
To recreate the look of the ads I suggested using the trampoline so the girls could get the most air time to pose. We decided to use the white siding of the house as a background, so we pulled the trampoline as close as we could, I set up my flashes, and we got to work!
After a few test shots, and a lot of giggles, the girls caught on to the best time to ‘pose’ for the picture. We figured out that once the body starts to come down out of the bounce, gravity makes it look as nonchalant and effortless as possible. The shots taken when the body is being propelled upward always had a forced looked, and the hair was too tense. Once the body is dropping back down the hair almost had a weightlessness to it, which added a nice effect.
Both of the girls got some great shots, and after the “editorial” had finished, I grabbed some fun stills of the two of them jumping around, being sisters.
Mid-afternoon we grabbed a quick lunch before heading back out for sunset. The view from the roof of the shed is almost unobstructed which was the perfect setting for some sunset lighting shots.
I didn’t even have to set up my flash, I just grabbed the ladder, got the girls onto the roof and then I used the ladder as a post to shoot from. It was a lot of fun, the girls got some great shots with perfect sunset lighting basking them in a warm glow.
Overall the girls seems thrilled with their photos, and it was fun for us all to be able to enjoy an afternoon together. It’s not often that teenage girls want to spend time with their dad, so I will take what I can get, and this weekend was fantastic. The best part is that I’ve got the photos as evidence!
Being creative is when you make use of your imagination or original ideas to create something, that is, inventiveness. Anybody can be creative but most times people think of creativity as something that is inherent in people – you have to be born creative, otherwise you cannot be creative.
Well, the truth is creativity has more to do with your environment and you as a person, which you are totally in control of. You cannot expect to be creative if you are always in the midst of noisy and empty people or find yourself in a really raucous environment. Everybody needs a place they can retreat to any time they have to rest, think, brainstorm or just unwind. Quiet spaces give people a place to calm down and recuperate from sensory burdens and overload associated with everyday life.
Do you have a peaceful and relaxing quiet space in your house? Or is your office an idea place to think and get creative? A cozy and quiet space is perfect to stimulate your creative mind to get busy. A little tranquility is incredibly essential and everyone wants it. Sadly, a lot of offices or environments do not take this into consideration, and this can affect your inspiration adversely. A quiet space is very important to be creative. You’d notice that when you’re in the midst of people, you can hardly focus on your inner self to spur creativity.
It is therefore imperative to make constructive use of solitude in order to open your creative mind. You must not be afraid of being alone. It’s been argued that creativity requires team work and collaboration. In as much as there might be some truth to that, I’d still argue that productive, creative ideas barely emerge from collaboration, but instead from quiet and solitude space. If you don’t belief this fact, you may want to try it yourself and experience it firsthand how being in a quiet place can greatly impart your ability to be creative.
Privacy and quiet goes hand in hand. Some people might say that if one isn’t doing something bad, they wouldn’t need privacy. Well, tell me how you feel if you live in a house made of glass.
I hate when people say things like, “if you’re not doing anything bad, you wouldn’t need privacy”. If you’ve ever said that, build a house out of glass and tell me how you like it. When you are in your private, quiet space, you will find it much easier to think, get a solution faster and be creative.
However, what will you do if you don’t have a spare room that you can use as a private and quiet study? Don’t let this hinder you at all. Build a shed in a quiet corner of your home and find ways to decorate and customize it to meet your needs.
There are many options available to those who want a separate space away from everyone., and need enough room to be creative. As long as it is quiet and private, it will serve the same purpose.
Liverpool is full of so much culture and history that it is an ideal location for photographers all over the world. Whatever type of photographer you are, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to its history, architecture, fashion, scenery and colourful characters.
I fell in love with the city during my visit, and here are my 5 top photography picks that you shouldn’t miss out on:
1. The Liver Building
The Liver Building is one of the most iconic buildings in the city of Liverpool, as it is a Grade II* listed building that is now one of the Three Graces, along with the Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building. At the time of construction, many people believed it could not be completed due to its unusual design; however, it was completed in 1911, and overlooks Liverpool’s stunning waterfront – so you can take a perfect shot day or night.
2. Albion House
Albion House was once the White Star Line headquarters, and was RMS Titanic’s port of registry. On top of being one of the most iconic maritime buildings in the country, it is also one of the most unique architectural marvels in the city due to its streaky bacon design. That’s right, we did say streaky bacon. It is a truly stunning building that was designed by Richard Norman Shaw, and has since been restored as a Liverpool hotel.
You have not one but two cathedrals to photograph when you visit Liverpool: the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. You cannot visit the city and not visit the cathedrals, which are exceptional structures that demand to be photographed.
4. The Waterfront
Liverpool once offered one of the greatest ports in the world, welcoming ships of all sizes into the city. Its waterfront still stands in memory of the city’s unique maritime history, and is surrounded by a wealth of museums, restaurants and attractions that make the city both atmospheric and beautiful. You can take a shot of the iconic Liverpool ferries, it’s historic Albert Dock or of the surrounding buildings that make the city one of the best in the country.
Fashion photographers all over the world should visit the city to get a snap of some of the amazing, personal styles – and that was just in my Liverpool accommodation! Offering an eclectic mix of a variety of trends, you cannot deny that the people have style. With so much colour, vibrancy and personality on offer, it’s the perfect place to take a natural photograph.
There’s also always plenty of things to see and do in the city. For example, the Liverpool Giants have visited twice to honour the city’s maritime history – and is something that needs to be seen to be believed, or even photographed.
You can even join the South Liverpool Photographic Society, which promotes participation, encouragement and knowledge of photography. Everyone can join and they’ll share a variety of photographic opportunities that you can take advantage of.
Photographers all over the world aspire to be as successful as Annie Leibovitz. There is no bigger name in the industry, and that’s because her remarkable shots look as natural and beautiful as breathing.
I, personally, have looked up to Annie my entire career, and only dream of capturing people as wonderfully as she does. For those who don’t know who she is, Annie Lebiovitz is an American portrait photographer who has taken shots of everyone from The Rolling Stones to Lady Gaga. So when I heard that she nearly lost the copyright to her entire portfolio back in 2009, I was admittedly shocked.
Annie Leibovitz found herself in debt after borrowing $15.5million in February 2009 to pay off some debts, and put up many of her houses and photographs as collateral – which is a $50 million archive. However, the group that filed a breach against the photographer following missed loan repayments dropped the lawsuit and arranged a new repayment plan.
You are probably wondering why I am talking about a financial situation that happened five years ago, but my point is: should famous creative works be given away so freely?
I understand why Annie used her famous works as collateral, and I am confident she received the best financial advice for her circumstances, but surely there comes a point when works of such calibre no longer just belong to the individual that took the photograph.
Don’t get me wrong, a photographer’s works belong solely to them, and always will no matter whose hands they are in, but should a financial company be able to access the images so easily to do with them what they will? This will only lead to image distortion that could not only ruin the imagery of the piece, but a photographer’s reputation.
What I’m saying is, the works don’t just belong to one person or one company, they belong to the public. They belong to the people we take the images for. Should a financial company have the right to ruin those images forever – and our idea of them?
I’m not for one second saying Annie Leibovitz shouldn’t have used her photographs as a debt solution, she has that right as the owner, but copyright shouldn’t just belong to the photographer. I don’t want to see Annie Leibovitz’s photos used on milk cartons or for car lot ads – because who knows what could have happened to the images if she did lose them.
Photography is not an image of a point in time. It is a moment that stays in our minds forever. It is a shot that was carefully crafted and planned to offer something that’s bigger and more beautiful than the world around us – and that’s saying something. It should therefore be treasured and cared for by people who can treasure and care for the images – and it shouldn’t be something people can put up for sale should the worst happen. It is worth more than that.