5 Tips For Shooting Winter Landscapes

Winter brings out the toughest elements in our climate, with many people putting away their camera bags ‘till early spring. But, if you do put away your camera you are missing out on the raw beauty that this magical season brings.

Here are a few tips to make the trip more enjoyable.

  1. Wear the right clothes: It’s very important to wrap up warm when out shooting winter images. The winter season brings the toughest elements, so if you are planning to spend a few days out and about always be well prepared.
  2. Watch the weather: It’s very important to know what the weather is going to be like. You don’t want to travel for a couple of hours and then hear a weather report that tells you that: the weather is wet for the next few days. During the winter months the weather can dramatically change in a matter of hours.

It’s always advisable to let someone know where you are going and which route you’re planning to take. If you do get injured or ever caught in a storm someone may be able to help.

  1. Carry only what you need: Carry only the essentials. You don’t need to upload your camera bag with every piece of equipment you own. If you are going to be out taking pictures all day you are much better off going as light as possible. Carrying a light load will also help preserve energy. You could be climbing icy rocks or crossing snow filled hills; a warm flask would serve you a lot better than a third camera.
  2. Look for detail: Snow, ice and frost bring out texture and atmosphere in most subjects. The early frosty morning is an ideal time for close-up photography. The frosty morning also brings out patterns in our landscapes.

Take care where you place your camera: if you are taking pictures early in the morning try placing it at oblique angles to the sun – this will give your images strong shadows. This will also add mood to your landscape images. Once you have found the perfect spot pay extra attention to foreground interest as this will add depth to your image.

  1. Expose carefully: Snow and ice are extremely difficult to expose properly. Snow usually confuses your cameras metering system or your hand held light meter. When you take a light reading from snow you will automatically get an underexposed image. The meter will record the snow as grey.

Now is the time to start bracketing your shots. If you bracket your shots add 1 – 2 stops of light to compensate for your light meter reading. Using an 18% grey card, which I described in a previous article, should also give you a perfect light reading.

A Guide to Disposable Digital Cameras

Disposable Cameras (also called single-use cameras) first came on the market as film cameras. You would take the entire camera back where you bought it and they would crack it open, take out the film and process it, resulting in photos that were virtually indistinguishable from photos taken with a more conventional camera. Now, following … Read more

Baby Portrait Photography

If you’ve never had kids and wonder why your mom-friends keep showing pictures of their babies to you every chance they get or why they are so obsessed with taking baby portrait photos, the answer is simple. Baby Portrait Photography is a very fascinating and enjoyable leisure!

Mothers and fathers have taken the art of baby portrait photography into their own hands. In fact, if you’re a new parent, I bet you have a camera tucked in your bag all the time. To capture the witnessed unexpected ‘firsts’ or simply, capturing the right moment that candidly presents itself, are sure the ultimate joys of a parent.

Poses at Specific Ages

However, there is also a challenge in taking baby photos; and that is, babies do not know how to pose. The subject is still too unaware of its surroundings or at certain ages, unpredictably active. So it would be helpful if we could be least expecting of their abilities to strike a pose. We know babies can barely hold up their heads or retain a particular position at 0-3 months that’s why we would need to hold them to pose.

Experiment on how the baby could be held but make sure that the focus of the photo would be on the baby and not on any one else. You must find a way to capture only the baby’s profile while being held by another person. There are still limited positions you can capture when you are taking photos of babies between the ages of 3-6 months. The good news is that babies can now hold their heads up so it’ll be much easier to get the face into profile. Costumes and props that are safe for these ages may also be used to liven up the photos.

Babies begin to sit around 6-9 months and this is when you can capture very odd poses from the babies. Since the babies start to become very active, this is the time when you need to master the shutter speed feature of your camera. And from ages 10 months onwards, some babies may be able to recognize that their photos are being taken and might even hold their poses a little longer. Candid photos may do very well during these ages.

10 Things to Keep in Mind about Baby Portrait Photography

  1. Make sure that your camera has film all the time and that your batteries are fully charged all the time
  2. If you are using a digital camera, it is best to have batteries ready.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the use of shutter speeds and camera flashes.
  4. Do not be afraid to take ultra-close up photos of your babies.
  5. Try shooting at distances and capturing the drama of the scene.
  6. If you are going to pose your babies, hold them securely.
  7. Your babies need not be dressed in costumes all the time, just make sure they are clean unless you intend to take photos of them wiping chocolates go on their faces which is very adorable too.
  8. Try shooting in grayscale. Black & white photos come out very classy and elegant, so if you intend to frame the photos, you will never go wrong with it.
  9. Remember that babies can easily get distracted, if you caught your baby doing something very nice, be quick in clicking the camera or you might miss the moment.
  10. Get others involved. Have your relatives of family members make coo-coo sounds to make the baby smile or simply talk to the baby to get eye contact.

There is nothing like capturing the essence of a child in a photograph. They grow up so fast so you want to really get every precious moments on film. You will learn simpler baby portrait photography techniques as you go along, and you’ll be proud each time you get a cute little smile recorded for eternity.

Do-It-Yourself Steps to Portrait Photography

Long before digital cameras have come to existence, people have been fascinated by portraits mainly because it captures the essence of a person. Portrait photography has the power of capturing one’s image and depicting that person’s character, at the same time imprinting such images for all to remember. However, people do not realize that ever since cameras have been developed and made available to everyone, they have been secretly becoming a threat to the techniques that professional photographers have studied for years. Learn about portrait photography and you’ll see how amazing this hobby can be!

It doesn’t take a genius to take amazing pictures really. All you need is a little practice, some basic portrait photography practices and these helpful tips to take the greatest photos to die for!

  1. Capture the Character

Capturing one’s character through a photo shot could be considered most challenging. This is simply because it is extremely difficult to identify one’s character by a mere look at an image shot by a camera, most especially when you do not know them very well or haven’t even met them. Engaging in small conversations and getting to know the subject a little bit before shooting might just do the trick.

Magic happens when there is a clear relationship or camaraderie between the photographer and the subject. That is why when you look into the lens, make sure you are able to connect to the subject, sense the subject’s sincerity and smile, the intensity of the scowl or the emptiness of that distant look. If you’re able to that, then you could say you have successfully captured the character of your subject.

  1. Maximize Natural Light

Camera flashes produce red eye, so to avoid this on your photos, try getting the most out of the light that is already available. Position the subject facing against the light so the brightness will illuminate the face. In unavoidable cases wherein there’s no natural light coming in, simply resort to using red eye removal software that could minimize these for you. Most digital cameras today come with a red-eye removal feature.

  1. Focus on Me

The focus of a portrait should always be on the subject and not the background. So make sure that you shoot in plain backgrounds or make the necessary adjustments in the focus of the camera to highlight the subject and lay back the background a little bit. Remember that the subject has to always stand out against the background. Otherwise, the essence of the portrait is forfeited.

  1. Eyes Open

Except when it is called for, like for a dramatic or theatrical effect, the eyes should always be open. A photographer cannot fully capture the image or the character of the subject without seeing the emotions radiate from within. Blinking even just for a second is a photographer’s no-no! So give your subject the due warning or practice first to pre-condition the eyes to the flashes of light. Here are other hints about portrait photography now.

  1. Black is Drama

You think black and white is out? No. It’s still very popular and instantly creates drama and elegance.

  1. Instant cover up

You don’t need to have professional make up artists to do your face before shooting a portrait. Covering or minimizing blemishes are made easy by simple overexposure of the photos. It makes the skin seem luminescent and cures a portrait from its imperfections.

  1. Make your subject move

Try to engage your subjects in a conversation or instruct them to move freely then speed shutter. These will give you very interesting photos which look candid and spontaneous. You can also take advantage of these features when shooting portraits of children.

8. Decide to dress up


Imagine this portrait blown and hung up on the walls of your living room. Would you want your family and friends to look at you in shabby clothing? If you’re going for the elegant look, go for dresses, gowns, suits or tube tops for a topless look. Or if you insist on simplicity, that’s fine. Just make sure you avoid something you don’t like to be caught wearing.

Now, you have the list of must-dos and a total picture of portrait photography.
All you need to do is practice, so start picking up that camera, start shooting and you’ll see yourself improve everyday. Do not hesitate to play with the lighting techniques and do some experimenting on portrait photography. It is truly a worthwhile leisure of art!