TAKING PICTURES WITH “HANDS” IN THE PHOTO

If you are an artist, your teacher will tell you that hands are the hardest thing to paint. To get the joints to look right, and the form of each finger so perfect takes years and years of practice. In photography, posing the hands in portraiture is also one of the most difficult things you can do.

Liv Bruce

A Post By: Andrew Szopory

One of the most challenging and misunderstood elements in posing hands and how to use them correctly. Hands are so important in an image because they can say so much. They can convey masculinity, femininity, strength, softness and between couples, they can show love and affection.

So the big question is what can we do with hands? How can we make them look elegant and soft? Where should they be placed to convey the most realistic emotion and feeling? Here are a few helpful tips and ideas to keep in mind for your next wedding, portrait, or fashion shoot that may help correct the most common hand posing issues.

#1 – Avoid showing the widest part of the hand

To help make hands look elegant, simply avoid having the back of the hand facing towards the camera as that is the widest part of the hand. This is important because the hands in proportion to the subject’s face can make the hands look larger than they actually are, or can make feminine hands look quite masculine. A simple twist of the wrist, so the smallest part of the hand is showing, is all it takes to change the look and feel of an image from average to wow.

#2 – Soft hands

Female hands need to appear soft, delicate, and elegant. To achieve this, it’s a matter of conveying to your bride or model to relax or soften their hands. A simple way of demonstrating how to do this is to hold your hand out then fully tense it up and then allow it to drop and relax slightly even wiggle the fingers so they are loose. Think of it like a big balloon, you’re just letting out a little air so they don’t look so hard and stiff.

#3- Bend the wrist

Bending the wrist (a slight bend so it’s not straight) is such a simple method to break a straight line and create more shape and texture in a shot. Remember the female form looks best when we can see beautiful natural curves, this includes the wrists.

#4 – Have the hands doing something that appears natural

People often ask, “What can I get my model or bride to do with her hands? I’m stuck for ideas.” This one is one of the simplest issues to address. You could have her holding the flowers, her veil, her dress, fixing her headpiece, adjusting her engagement ring, putting on perfume, touching her man softly, the list goes on. Just make sure it’s something she would normally do so it appears natural, otherwise, it may look a little posed and stuffy.

#5 – Posing hands with couples

When photographing the bride and groom, think about where you would place your hands if you were cuddling your wife, husband, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Have the bride’s hands touching the groom’s hand, forearm, chest, or face in a way that says, “I love you”.

Have the groom’s hands on the bride’s waist or on her hands while saying, “I love where your hands are”. This can really change the feel and emotion of your photos

#6 – Don’t amputate hands or fingers

When you have two hands overlapping each other it can appear that a hand is missing due to your angle and/or crop. This can happen when the bride has her hands around the back of the groom’s neck or you’re shooting a portrait side-on (as pictured below). The hand closest to the camera is on the other hand making her look like she has no hands or the fingers are amputated. To avoid this just switch hands over so you can see finger tips from one of the hands.

Conclusion

With all these tips in mind, the most important thing to remember is that hands should be placed in a natural realistic location doing something they would naturally do. So I suggest getting a friend or model and going out and just practicing for an hour or so to see what works and what doesn’t. This way you’ll have confidence on your next the wedding day or portrait shoot.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Andrew Szopory

Andrew Szopory is a 3rd generation Sydney wedding photographer with over 20 years experience behind the camera who has been formally trained at the Sydney Institute of Technology. His work can be seen at on his website, Facebook, and Instagram.

THIS SPECIAL PRESENTATION IS COURTESY OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY SCHOOL.

Here are more great photos using hands:

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


A Pexel Photo by Lehandross


Photo by Maria Luiza Schultz on Pexels.com


Photo by Wayne Evans on Pexels.com
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PHOTOGRAPHING BIRDS

PHOTOGRAPHING BIRDS CORRECTLY TAKES SOME SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHIC SKILLS AND EQUIPMENT. BUT, IT IS ONE PHOTOGRAPHIC SKILL THAT A LOT OF PHOTOGRAPHERS TRY AT SOME POINT. HERE ARE SOME TIPS THAT SHOULD HELP YOU OUT:
Photo by Aa Dil on Pexels.com

There are few things as stunning to look at as a cardinal perched on a tree limb blanketed in snow, or as adorable as a group of baby geese taking their first steps in the springtime sun. Because of the size and skittishness of most birds, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of getting sharp and, more importantly, striking photographs.

Successful bird photographs will take careful planning on your part. What do you plan on taking pictures of? Are you planning on taking photos of birds in trees? Are you looking for birds landing in the water? What about the big birds, like eagles, hawks or owls that might be looking for prey and you want to capture them in action? Where would you go to get photos of that kind of bird. Plan on taking at least a half a day or a whole day just to go take those kind of photos. You can’t just go out into a certain part of a field or forest and expect to find the right kind of bird. You will need to do some kind of research first. My first inclination is to check to see if there is a bird refuge around that you could go and get started taking photos first.

Photo by Ferenc Tibodi on Pexels.com

What kind of equipment would you need?

As much as you like birds, they won’t you just let you walk up to them and take their photo. They are certainly, one of the most skittish of animals. So, the best way to get good bird photos is with a very large lens. I have used a 75-300 mm for a long time, and found that to not be strong enough in most cases. So, consider the bigger lenses if possible. If you have the economical 75-300 lens, then consider adding a 2X teleconverter to the lens to equal the 150-600 mm lens. Then you may have the best of all worlds. Then you know what your problem will be? You must have it on a tripod. There is no way you can shoot at anything bigger than 300 while still hand-holding this lens. A tripod is a must.

Photo by Wayne Christensen on Pexels.com

Even more so, get a good tripod that you can use in motion. A good ball head on a good tripod is my favorite to use if I want to follow motion and capture something that is still in motion and will still allow me to be steady.

Camera Settings to use:

Birds move fast. If you want to capture the bird in motion with no blur, you may have to use a fast shutter speed. If I have a good bright day, I may still use a higher ISO setting, just so I can use a faster shutter speed such as 1/500th of a second or 1/1000th of a second to be able to stop action. But, the other thing to consider, while making sure the shutter speed is high, is to make sure the aperture is open big, which is not a big problem if you are using a fast shutter speed. But, it is something you want to watch. It will keep the focus on the bird, and not the background

Birds in Trees

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Birds that are in trees, if you have never noticed, are fidgety birds. Their heads and bodies are always moving fast. I think they fear everything around them, like they know they are about to be eaten by something, so they are always on the lookout for something to attack them. So, the best way to get a photo of these birds in trees, is, first, get zoomed in as tight as you can to the bird, and then, with your motor drive in continuous mode, just start shooting…… and if you shoot at 2 or 5 frames a second, that’s fine. One or five out of 30 shots will be great. Then discard the rest. That’s the best way to shoot these cute little fidgety birds.

Birds in Flight:

Birds in flight

This takes special skill as well to capture birds in flight. Think for a moment with me. Most cameras have this thing called automatic focus, and this time, it really doesn’t know that you are focusing on a moving bird. This is the time in most cameras, that you will have to take the lens off of automatic focus, and pre-set the focus. Do not set it at infinity. The bird is not out by the sun, or wherever infinity is. It is about 100 feet away, or wherever your bird is. If you want good sharp photos, you will have to quickly focus on one bird and then recompose your image and then start shooting to get the photo that you want. Make sure your shutter speed and aperture are set correctly too. Wow, so much to think about in a fraction of a second. Maybe you will just shoot it on automatic. Oh come on, now you will not get any exposure right. Be Brave, and still shoot manual, and try again. You will have more come in.

A Great place to practice:

A bird show is a great place to practice taking photos of birds

A bird show is a great place to try learning how to take pictures of birds. Some bird shows will have a variety of birds that they use so that you can really try your skills at taking your pictures.

Bird shows are a great place to learn about the different kinds of birds.

Before you go and take photos of birds, it is always a good idea to learn about the different kinds of birds. A good bird show will have a variety of birds to learn about, or will have some close by that you can learn about. So, check these out, and talk to those who are presenting the show, and learn about birds. You learn about people before you take their photos, why not learn about the birds as well.

And Practice will make you a good bird photographer

Practicing your skills at bird photography will only make you become a better photographer. You can become one of those, whose photo graces the walls of many a home.

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This article written by Lanny Cottrell for 123PhotoGo. All rights reserved.

Here are other great bird photos. Learn from these as you practice your bird photography:

Photo from Pexels: Artist: Simon Matzinger


Photo from Pexels, Artist: Frank Cone


Photo from Pexels, Artist: Brett Sayles


The last places on Earth humans have never visited

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: 9/12/2019: Are there Places on this planet that have not been visited yet? Or hardly ever been visited? Well, there are some photographers that have found “no mans land”. Wouldn’t it be incredible to find places like that? The ultimate explorer! Check out these incredible places that hardly no one has visited:

Satellite photos, drones, far-flung travel destinations—all of these contribute to reducing the number of places on Earth where humankind has never set foot. There is, however, a handful of untouched locations, or at least almost untouched. Wouldn’t it be a good idea for them to stay that way?

The forests of Myanmar
Myanmar, a small Southeast Asian country nestled between China, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, and Laos, still holds some mysteries. The Northern Forest Complex, over 5,000 metres (16,400 feet) above sea level, is one of those mysteries. The fauna found there—herons, deer, and red pandas—are rarely disturbed, only occasionally by scientific expeditions. This natural refuge is far from human activity and is still considered unexplored, at least for now.
Photo courtesy of Pixaby


Northern Patagonia
Arid Arid steppes, tropical rainforests, glaciers, fjords—Patagonia, which stretches from Argentina to Chile, boasts many breathtaking landscapes, but access is challenging due to its “cruel geography.” Because it is so difficult to visit, it’s a veritable Garden of Eden for the flora and fauna that flourish there.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay


Namib Desert
Significantly lesser-known than its Saharan counterpart, the Namib Desert, located in Southern Namibia, is included on the list of the most unknown and unexplored deserts on the planet. Some say it is the oldest desert on Earth, with a presumed age of up to 80 million years. Covering nearly 80,000 square kilometres (30,900 square miles), the Namib Desert spans from South Africa to Angola.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


Mariana Trench

Photo courtesy of:  AP Photo/USFWS, Jim Maragos/Canadian Press

Take Mount Everest and drop it nine kilometres (six miles) under the ocean and you’d still have to swim about one kilometre (3,300 ft) up before reaching the surface. That gives you a good idea of the depth of the Mariana Trench, near Guam in the Southwest Pacific. It’s likely the deepest trench on Earth and the least explored location in the entire ocean, and for good reason: the pressure there is so great that it would crush almost any vessel. Humans are definitely not welcome. On the other hand, what might we find down there? #Godzilla


Daintree National Park
This 1,200 sq. km (460 sq. mi) national park located in Northern Queensland, Australia, is home to the oldest ecosystem in the world, where thousands of species of plants and animals live in blissful solitude in this uninhabited part of the island. This tropical rainforest is over 110 million years old.
Photo courtesy of : Shutterstock


The summit of Gangkhar Puensum

This giant peak that overlooks Bhutan and China is the fortieth-tallest summit on Earth, reaching 7,500 metres (24,600 ft) above sea level. It is also the highest peak in the world that has never been reached, despite several failed attempts. Since 2003, it has been forbidden to climb it. The mountain’s name translates as White Peak of the Three Spiritual Brothers.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia


Star Mountains

This hard-to-access mountain range, located in Papua New Guinea, is one of the most humid places on Earth. That’s understandable, considering it receives about 10,000 mm (390 in.) of rain each year. And no, that’s not a typo—10 metres (33 ft) of rain falls as one of the essential elements of this relatively isolated ecosystem that is home to more than 1,100 species, including nearly 100 that exist nowhere else.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia


Greenland
Greenland isn’t devoid of human activity, but almost. Its population is just shy of 60,000, which is not that many considering the territory spans 2 million sq. km (772,000 sq. mi). That amounts to 0.03 people per sq. km (0.08 per sq. mi), making it the 207th-most populous country in the world—a far cry from Macau, China, with its 21,081 people per sq. km (54,600 per sq. mi). Three-quarters of Greenland is forever covered in ice, measuring 3 km (1.9 mi) deep. The unpredictable climate makes it virtually unexplored, even today.
photo courtesy of Pixabay


Son Doong Cave

To say that this Vietnamese cave is enormous would be a massive understatement. This cave, the largest of its kind on Earth, could hold an entire skyscraper. A 61-metre tall (200 ft) calcite wall blocks access to a network of underground caves and tunnels. Around one thousand tourists can venture partway in for a whopping $3,000 apiece, but its eight kilometres (five miles) of tunnels and network of around 150 caves remain unexplored. Inside, there’s a river and even a jungle. Torrential rains make it essentially inaccessible from September to January.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


Sakha Republic

This Russian territory located in Northern Siberia is home to roughly one million people. Around 20% of this huge republic lies above the Arctic Circle, which explains its temperatures of -43 degrees Celsius (-45 degrees Fahrenheit), and much lower, and the presence of permafrost. It’s no wonder that much of the land is devoid of human activity, as it would be nearly impossible to live there, but this doesn’t lessen its natural beauty.
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock


Antarctic lakes
Antarctica is an amazing place—it’s a continent that remains relatively unexplored, minus a few scientific outposts that have been there for decades. But there is something even less explored: its sub-glacial lakes, like Lake Vostok, located 3.7 km (2.3 mi) below the surface, which hasn’t seen sunlight in 15 million years. Humans would find it very, very difficult to get to these completely inhospitable locations where, as seen in this Greenpeace photo, life finds a way. The possible contamination of samples obtained during expeditions can easily taint the scientific results. These lakes are truly difficult to access on all levels.
Photo courtesy of Greenpeace


Mount Lico

The summit of Mount Lico, in Northern Mozambique, has only recently begun to reveal its secrets. It was a pretty big surprise to find a tropical rainforest that had been completely hidden from humanity, located over 700 m (2,300 ft) above sea level. Even just the unique flora found there will be the subject of many studies. But then arises the age-old question: should scientists make such a discovery public, which might attract unwanted visitors who could destroy an as-yet unknown ecosystem? How long will it take before this place appears in a travel brochure?
Photo courtesy of Twitter@JullianBayliss1


Kamchatka Peninsula
When you think of volcanoes, you might think of Vesuvius, Krakatoa, or even Eyjafjallajökull (gesundheit!), but on the Kamchatka Peninsula on the far eastern side of Russia, you can find some of the most spectacular volcanoes on Earth. Over 300 volcanoes dot the area, which is also home to several species of salmon. The territory also boasts the highest density of brown bears in the world. The peninsula, which was closed to Westerners until 1991, remains, to this day, sparsely populated, and some parts even remain unexplored. Today, around 400,000 people live in this region that is about as big as California.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve

This “strict” nature reserve of nearly 1,000 sq. km (390 sq. mi) located on the western side of the island of Madagascar, off the coast of Africa, wears its name well. In the Malagasy language, tsingy means “walk on your tiptoes,” which aptly describes what you would want to do around its gorges and canyons strewn with giant limestone structures formed by millions of years of erosion. Numerous plant and animal species—many still undiscovered—can only be found here. The extremely difficult access and the area’s protected status, dating from 1927, makes it highly inaccessible.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


Mount Namuli

Here is another summit in Mozambique that has only been partially explored by a handful of people. Reaching 2.4 km (7,900 ft) above sea level, this peak is part of a mountain range that has developed like “isolated islands,” becoming home to different species. Almost 70 years passed between the 1932 and 1998 expeditions because of the civil war and its challenging access. Today, Mount Namuli remains mainly untouched by humankind.
Photo courtesy of Legado


The depths of the Yucatán caverns

The incredible unexplored caves of Mexico were created, like other caverns on Earth, when bedrock collapsed, revealing underground springs of clear water. Tourists can swim at the surface, but the underground network remains largely unexplored. The depths of these caverns are so inaccessible and dangerous that even the most experienced speleologists don’t dare go there in order to preserve the aquatic environment. These depths are probably a good reason why the Maya held their human sacrifices nearby.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


The Rub’ al-Khali
Considered “the largest sand-sea in the world,” covering an area of about 650,000 sq. km (250,000 sq. mi), this desert, translated from Arabic as “empty quarter,” reaches Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The only signs of life on the far horizon are scorpions, some adventurous birds, and a few desert mammal carcasses. The temperature can reach 40 C (104 F) in the shade (try to find some), making the area completely inhospitable. In 1930, Bertram Thomas became the first Westerner to traverse the entire desert in 59 days. Most of this desert land has never been visited by humans—or at least none have returned to tell their tale.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia


Mount Roraima

The steep slopes of this peak and the difficulty in getting the necessary permits make Roraima an unexplored mountain. It’s not easy to get there when, on top of the logistical challenges, getting the go-ahead from the three countries that surround it—Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana—is no easy task. These factors make it so that only the local fauna get to enjoy the breathtaking view from the summit.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


The ocean depths

The scientific community knows more about the Moon, Mars, and other celestial bodies than it does about the bottom of our own oceans, and for good reason. It’s easier to get to the international space station, orbiting 400 km (250 mi) above our heads, than to reach the bottom of the Atlantic, which is around 3.6 km (2.2 mi) deep. Most submarines are unable to withstand the pressure, which makes exploration very costly, risky, and rare.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


Sandy Island

This tiny island off the coast of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, discovered in 1774 by Captain Cook, was mapped for the first time near the end of the 19th century. No human has ever set foot on it and none ever will. Why? Because it simply doesn’t exist. Its inclusion on old maps has been explained by a cartographic error which was quickly discovered. It was erased from most official hydrographic charts during the 1970s, but not all. Even Google Earth was fooled and had to remove the island from its map in 2012 after the RV Southern Surveyor, an Australian research vessel, passed by and confirmed its inexistence. At least now the matter has been settled once and for all.
Photo courtesy of Google Earth


Sometimes I ask myself: If I was a braver person, I would like to try to be one of those photographers, who goes to one of these places and comes out of there alive with the most incredible amount of intellectual photos that the world has ever seen. Just daydreaming, but, really! Imagine as populated and adventurous as many people are, I just have a hard time imagining that there are places in this world, that is untouched by humans. Makes me want to go out to these places and just photograph the heck out of these unknown places. And then there would be some more places like this, I think. A very crazy thought.

Thanks to msn.com for publishing, on their website this article originally. This was funded and put together by:

And was put together by Martin Morin
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