July 3, 2013
Happy Independence Day! Most of us in the US will take photos of fireworks tomorrow so that we can share them on Facebook after. Of course you want your firework pictures to look great to reflect the joy of the celebration. Here are some simple tips for photographing fireworks with a point-and-shoot camera.
– Choose your location strategically: you don’t want any view-spoilers such as people’s heads, tree branches or wires.
– Keep in mind that if the smoke from the firework will blow towards you, the fireworks will be obscured.
– Avoid locations where street lights, the moon or any other source of light will shine on your camera lens. The light creates flare.
– Turn the flash off.
– Set your camera to the mode called Fireworks. If you don’t have it, use the Night Landscape or Mountain icons, or a Landscape scene mode.
– When taking pictures of fireworks, listen for the sound of shells going up, and press the shutter release just before they burst.
That’s all. Happy photoshooting!
October 26, 2012
If you are into social anthropology, the “Meet Miss Subways: New York’s Beauty Queens 1941-76,” is the exhibition for you. The photo show will be on display at the New York Transit Museum from October 23 to March 2.
For over thirty years, photos and one-sentence aspirations of New York women were displayed in subway cars as part of the “Meet Miss Subways” contest with a hidden agenda of drawing subway-riders’ attention to other advertisements in New York’s transit system.
For the first 22 years, winners were selected by the John Robert Powers modeling agency and the New York Subways Advertising Company. Afterward, the voting went the American Idol way, with NYC subway-riders voting via postcard for their favorites.
Now looking back at the collection of women’s portraits you get a glimpse of the images, lives and hopes of the women who made the social fabric of New York city for over three decades.
The contest saw its first African-American winner in 1948 – long before Vanessa Williams was crowned Miss America in 1984—and the first Asian-American was honored in 1949.
Immigrants from Russia, Lithuania, Guatemala had their wins. This is New York, after all!
Anyone could participate and win. Married with kids – no problem!
The photos contain the evidence of women’s upward mobility. Here is a winner who happened to be a Recruiting Sergeant at the Manhattan Marine Corp.
Another one was an FBI employee.
There were team winners – twins and triplets.
What made Miss Subways contest so marvelous is that it celebrated ordinary New York women end their dreams. Everyone’s life deserved to be in the spotlight.
June 22, 2012
Mixing black and white photos with color gives a wedding book a certain elegance. When you view a picture your eye is drawn to colors, and when the color is removed you see more of the form and composition within an image.
Besides, some photos, especially the candid ones might look much better in B&W. They look more photojournalistic by putting the emphasis on the action and emotions as opposed to the details of the environment.
Black and white is far from boring: With the variations of saturation, lighting and toning you can have a lot of options. Here are some examples:
MODERN WEDDING BOOK TRENDS:
Vintage Style Photography
Black and White Photography
January 16, 2012
Cropping is used to make your shots fit the standard photo paper sizes. It’s done by bringing the aspect ratio of your photo to the aspect ratio of a standard print size.
An aspect ratio is simply the ratio between the width and height — the shape of an image. A square photo, for example, would have a 1:1 aspect ratio where the width is the same as the height.
Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a set frame aspect ratio of 1:1.33 (known as 4:3) when most DSLRs use the aspect ratio of 1:1.5 (known as 3:2).
In comparison, standard photo paper sizes have the following aspect ratios:
6″x4″ – 1:1.5
7″x5″ – 1:1.4
10″x8″ – 1:1.25
As you can see the DSLR aspect ratio fits the format of 6″x4″. In other situations you need to crop your photo.
It is recommended that you crop the photos yourself before sending them to a printer. Otherwise they will use their own judgment what parts of the photo can be sacrificed.
If you need a photo editor, we recommend using GIMP – free open-source software that has been around for quite a while:
August 31, 2011
Those of us deserted in the New York City by friends and family who rushed to the suburbs for safety, spent most of our hurricane weekend on the phone reporting that everything was fine. Now, as the deserters were struggling to get back to the city, we decided not to disappoint them and tell them how it really was.
Getting ready for the big wave
No one was safe
After the storm
June 13, 2011
The new Tennessee law that bans posting images that cause emotional distress has caused a lot of stir in the media. Specifically, it outlaws posting photos on the web that cause “emotional distress” to someone and have no “legitimate purpose.” The punishment amounts to a year in prison and nearly $2,500 in fines. It is stated that there needs to be “malicious intent,” so dimwits with poor judgement can be off the hook, but the law nails down the persons who “reasonably should know” that the actions would “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress.”
Unfortunately the wording of the law motivated by good intentions is too broad not to get into a conflict with the Freedom of Speech. For starters, it doesn’t require that the picture be of the “victim,” only that it be distressing to the “victim.” This leaves a lot of room for interpretation.
With all the criticism the law has received, we should appreciate the attempt of the Tennessee law-makers at curbing the actions of bullies and bitter jerks who, thanks to the Internet, now enjoy the access to worldwide audiences.
When the news came, we remembered a rather creepy call to our studio asking if we could place a new face on a totally naked body in another photo. We do photo montage but our company policy precludes us from handling images that feature frontal nudity and we quickly turned down the order. The caller lamented that no studio would take his order. We were glad to hear that though most probably the guy eventually found someone to do the job.
Women, and we know this as our staff and clients are primarily female, are very sensitive about their photos and often feel like executing their friends for posting lousy photos of them on Facebook – not the malicious ones but just bad photos taken from an unfavorable angle at the wrong moment. Now if these are really embarrassing shots taken by creeps for whom propriety and civility have no value, we seriously want them to be brought to court.
So, no matter how imperfect the Tennessee Law is in defining the “emotional distress”, it’s a good start for a movement to protect the dignity of ordinary persons as well as celebrities.
January 9, 2011
This is a funny how-to video on taking better pictures of yourself if you want a cool Facebook profile. Our professional advice: taking pictures of yourself is always a bad idea unless you are using a timer. For better results, ask a friend to take pictures of you. You need an immediate feedback on your attempted cool posing.
December 12, 2010
Photo retouching, a.k.a. photo editing or airbrushing, is as old as photography itself. But only with the advent of the digital revolution that overturned a lot of concepts in the Photography industry since the beginning of this century, photo retouching became commonplace, extending to family photography – professionally taken as well as amateur shots.
Photo retouching services became affordable to any budget ($3.50/photo at PhotoHand.com) and easily accessible over the web. You can order it 24/7 just like you order books or clothes.
Just decide what you don’t like about the photo, check the pricing schedule and go to the order form to upload your shots and type in your instructions. You will get your images back in the same resolution without any marks claiming the copyright over your photos.
Photo retouching (“photoshopping”) does not mean altering the photos completely, rather it simply modifies the images and removes the flaws originating from technical and non-technical faults.
Besides the lighting that you normally don’t have control of outside the studio, there are a lot of mishaps that can ruin the view: exit signs spoil the mood in the wedding pictures and so do slight wardrobe malfunctions like skin overflowing the edge of a sleeveless wedding dress (happens even to the skinniest brides), twisted tense smiles resulting from prolonged posing, electrified hairs crossing faces… There is no reason now to put up with these imperfections that spoil otherwise a perfect memento.
Of course, it takes skill, experience and artistic perspective to improve and sometimes rescue the photo without affecting the originality of the image. Luckily, now the magazine-quality photo editing services are available to every mom, newlywed, serial dater, actor, musician, aspiring model, pageant contestant, starting out fashion designer, beauty professional, life coach… everyone.