USING CONTRAST TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS:

trees during sunset

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Understanding how contrast works can greatly improve your photos. There are several kinds of contrast to talk about. Let’s go through them:

CONTRAST BETWEEN DARK AND LIGHT:

Photos that have some major differences between dark and light can greatly improve some of your photos. Some photos, of course, should not have much contrast at all, and learning how to see the light in your frame is what you need to look for. Black and white photos are often used a lot to create great contrast, and that is why black and white will be around for a long time. It is because the better the contrast between dark and light, or the blacks and the whites are what makes a good black and white photo. For more information about how to do black and white successfully try going to this site: https://123photogo.com/2021/11/22/reasons-to-try-black-and-white/

CONTRAST IN COLOR PHOTOS:

To get good contrast in color photos, shadows have to play a big part in your photo. When you take a picture at noon, there is just not much shadows that look good. They are short and really add nothing to the photo. However, taking photos, say, at the Golden Hour, your shadows are long, and makes the photo look amazing. If you want good contrast in your photos, look to shoot in morning or sunset.

white and brown trees on forest during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

CONTRASTING COLORS ARE ANOTHER INTERESTING WAY TO SHOW CONTRAST:

yellow balloon on blue background
Photo by Deeana Arts on Pexels.com

Bold dynamic colors are a great way to really get someone excited about contrast. This is just an example of how you take a bright color, and mix it with a dark color. Here are some more examples of contrast in color:

red and white petaled flowers
Photo by João Jesus on Pexels.com

Putting a brilliant color with a dark background is perfect. It’s not a black background, but a complimentary dark green color, and that is what makes this photo so amazing. This may be a practice of “Seeing Light”. Check this out: https://123photogo.com/2017/05/07/understanding-light-in-photography/

lady in beach silhouette during daytime photography
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Of course, a silhouette is a great way to get contrast in your photos. This is done by just making sure there is a strong light behind your subject (the sun is a popular way to do this). And you can create your own source for doing silhouettes. Like this photo:

silhouette photo of woman
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

For more information about shooting silhouettes, go to: https://123photogo.com/2021/11/24/learn-how-to-do-amazing-silhouette-photos/

CONCLUSION:

There are obviously a lot of different ways to do contrast in photography. Look at the above examples and pick the one you would like to master.

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PHOTOGRAPHER AS AN ARTIST / INSIGHT INTO EMOTION

Photo by Marco Xu on Unsplash

Being an artist as a photographer is sure different than being an artist that paints, or an artist that cooks. As a photographer artist, the one thing that you notice is that people look at your equipment rather than the person. When you get to the point where most of your photography is artistic, then sometimes it is hard to still be noticed as an artist, but that people think that it is the camera equipment that creates the artist.

Unfortunately this is part of being a photographer. And sometimes as an artist myself, I am excited to have such great equipment to help me out being an artist. But I am still the creator of the photo, and my camera is my brush.

True photographic artists have the power to convey thoughts, ideas, feelings, and moods all based in one timeless and inspirational image. Captured in a millisecond by pushing down on that button. I have known photographers who are utterly obsessed with new equipment and all the wiz bang technology that comes out seemingly every day. What they fail to realize is that being technically adept is only one part of the puzzle. Bringing out the emotional side of your photographic art plays a large part in creating images that will wow your audience. The best images created are not always the most original, technically correct, or perfectly framed. Like any art form, the greatest images evoke some kind of emotional response in the viewer. The truly great evoke different emotions in different people at different times.



With my photography, I found that I was able to take photos from places I had been to before and the whole vibe of the images was completely different to that of the previous ones.

Photo by Marius Muresan on Unsplash

It was akin to my own little aha moment in time. If in the passion for creating the imagery, the art was missing, then inevitably the result would be a very ho-hum, although technically correct, image.

WHAT IT TAKES TO CLICK INTO “ART MODE”:

One very quick way I’ve found to get out of this ho-hum state is to stop. Put the camera equipment down and just observe, enjoy, and be part of the moment. In next to no time you will find that you start firing on all cylinders and the creative juices kick in. That’s when you’ll be itching to pick up the camera again!

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

IDEAS ABOUT DOING SELF PORTRAITS:

Photo courtesy of creekviewstudios.weebly.com

One thing that is missing in photography, and I discovered this many years ago, is the photo of the photographer. You spend all your time behind the camera, taking pictures of your family and friends, and you are never in the photo. What photo does your family use if you pass away? Or, even how do you promote yourself, when no one knows what you look like?

It is important to have pictures of yourself, so you can promote your photography business. If you have thought of different ideas of how you want to have your self viewed, then the next step is to figure out how to do it, without someone else’s help. Let’s go through a few ideas so you get it right, and you can actually have fun at it.

1- MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT

Of course the first thing people think of when doing a self portrait is using the “Self timer” built in to the camera. That is one thing that can work for sure, but have you thought about the issues with using the self timer?

Self timer mode on cameras

Usually with a self timer mode on cameras today, you have 2 options: have it shoot in 2 seconds (that may not work), and then 10 seconds. And if you use the 10 second timer, that last 2 seconds will give you a sound of faster beeps so you know it’s coming soon. That is the best one to use, if you want to use the self timer.

However, this is inconvenient and can lead to a lot of frantic running, adjusting, and posing. That’s why I highly recommend you purchase a remote shutter release, which won’t cost too much and will allow you to fire your camera from a distance.

USE A REMOTE SHUTTER RELEASE TO DO THIS RIGHT:

Nikon’s remote shutter

These remote shutter buttons will work so much better. Check in to your favorite camera store to see how much they cost. It’s not much. The real beauty to these little devices is that you can get yourself all set up, and when it’s the right pose, the right settings, the right time, then you just push this button.

2- USE HOBBIES OR ART IDEAS TO INCLUDE IN THE PHOTO

When taking photos of yourself, you could include things that you really love or interests you. If you are in to art, you could include an art piece in your photo. If you want to just show that you are a photographer, then be creative with the photo, but, don’t be strange about it. People will want to see a normal photo, nothing scary, and something that is impressive.

Here are some photos of self images that I thought were good:

Photo by vuing.com
Photo courtesy of fenzyme.com
Photo courtesy of Makbet666 (Photoargus.com)

3- Watch your background before you take the picture

The photo above shows how awful it could look if you don’t watch the background. And then a corrected photo.

Sometimes it is something you just don’t think about when taking self portraits, but the background can ruin a good photo. So watch for that.

4- How should you dress for a self portrait?

Do you want to look professional in your self portrait? Do you want to dress casual? These are the questions you should ask, and then make sure you dress the part. Think that thousands of people may see your picture. How do you want to look for that?

5- Look at your photos upon completion

You are biggest critic. You need to look at the finished products and critique the photo. Is it how you want it? Is it better than you expected? Then if it is not how you want it, then you still have time to fix it.

More ideas of self portraits:

Triple portrait by Norman Rockwell

ANOTHER FLAGSHIP CAMERA HITS THE MARKET:

The new Panasonic Lumix GH6 flagship camera released

What do you know about Panasonic and the GH series? The Panasonic Lumix was truly made for those who take videos. And those people who shoot video already know that Panasonic Lumix cameras are the best, easiest to use, and most of the software you would ever need for video work is built-in to the cameras.

And all the other cameras manufactures have just finished introducing their new flagship cameras. Nikon, Sony, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, and they are all great cameras. And then on of the last ones to come out is the Panasonic Lumix camera and as some reviewers are saying: this blows the others away.

And the specs are amazing. I have just witnessed some photos taken with the new Panasonic Lumix. And they have a new 100mp sensor that makes all other cameras look bad, I mean it.

I went to YouTube and checked out all the reviews on this camera and found one that I really like. Take a look at this so you can see how amazing this camera is. And it is right from Panasonic who knows what they should be filming.

The new 25.2MP sensor (with no low-pass filter) sets a new resolution standard for Micro Four Thirds cameras, and the High Resolution stills mode now enables you to capture 100MP images without a tripod.

This is thanks to the improved in-body image stabilization gyro and algorithm, which now offers up to 7.5 stops of compensation when used with lenses supporting Dual IS2 (all of which will require a firmware update for the GH6).

Another first for G series cameras is the inclusion of V-Log / V-Gamut, to maximize the GH6’s 12 stops of dynamic range – which increases to 13 stops when employing the Dynamic Range Boost mode. This acts in a similar way to Panasonic’s dual gain readout (which is distinct from dual native ISO), and employs a base ISO of 800 to produce a high-saturation image and ISO2000 to capture a low-noise image; these are composited, at up to 60p, for rich HDR video.

Audio gets as much love as video, with the new flagship supporting 4-channel, 24-bit,  48kHz or 96kHz recording via XLR microphone adapter. The 2-channel built-in microphone also supports 24-bit 48kHz. 

The Panasonic GH6 will be available in March for $2,199 / £1,999 body only in some markets, while in Australia, it will arrive a month later in April for a body-only price of AU$3,699.

One more YouTube video to learn more about this:

PHOTOGRAPHERS AT THE OLYMPICS:

Photo compliments of confuciusmag.com

The 2022 Winter Olympics is now history. And it has been a great event. Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be a “designated photographer” there? I thought that this would be an incredible opportunity because you would be able to mingle with the athletes and get some incredible photos of the events.

WORDS AND IMAGES FROM PHOTOGRAPHERS:

The New York Times has run a great article from some of the photographers. There thoughts and pictures are amazing, and hope you will enjoy this information:

Gabriela Bhaskar:

Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times

I thought a lot about the implications of photographing women, many of whom are still teenagers, figure skating in revealing costumes as they executed incredible feats of athleticism. Nicole Schott, 25, of Germany, wore a costume with a massive cutout on one side of her waist. As she turned into a backbend while spinning on one skate, I snapped a few frames of how far she was bending. The shadows on her neck and along her stomach, to me, showed the amount of torque the athletes’ bodies endure and the strength it takes to accomplish these tricks. Her little Olympic ring necklace suspended in motion was a little bonus detail to illustrate how fast she was spinning and to provide a little context about where she was competing.

James Hill

James Hill for The New York Times

It snowed hard for only one day during these Winter Games — something that was actually problematic because the Alpine courses were all made with artificial snow. For the men’s 4×10-kilometer cross-country relay, course workers had to blow the freshly fallen snow from the parallel tracks made for the classic-style skis. When the race started and the skiers powered forward, there was a strong and bitter wind blowing snow into their faces. The scene felt like a real Winter Olympics moment.

Chang W. Lee:

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

A legend. The last Olympic Games for that legend. And the legend’s last moment. I was humbled and honored to witness Shaun White’s feelings, which no one could tell in a story but could tell in a picture. A picture that said a thousand words would have been this photo to me. A legend will still be the legend.

Hiroko Masuike:

Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

I had never photographed ski jumping before, so I arrived early in the morning at the ski jumping center in Zhangjiakou and tried to find the best view of the action. The perspective was thrilling, of course, but no matter how I framed it, I couldn’t get the right contrast against the snowy, white background. During a break in the competition, I left the hill. Then I came back when it was dark. The winding cross-country course, which the jumpers can look out over as they take flight, was lit up against the black of night, creating a beautiful scene. I waited for an athlete wearing a bright suit so she would be illuminated in midair. It was a freezing night, but braving the cold was worth it to catch this moment.

Doug Mills:

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Olympic athletes are required to go through an area known as a mixed zone. Reporters can ask questions there, but athletes are not required to answer them. Last week, after she fell and was disqualified from the Alpine combined, Mikaela Shiffrin spent more than an hour talking with reporters about the most disappointing Olympics of her career. Shiffrin could have easily walked past all the journalists, but she didn’t. I was surprised, but impressed with her strength and courage. It had to be painful: The ceremony was taking place just behind her, the Olympic music was playing and the athletes on the podium were celebrating with their medals. Shiffrin did not even turn around to watch.

JUST A FEW MORE PICTURES:

FROM THE EDITOR OF 123PHOTOGO, A WEBSITE THAT SHOWS HIS OWN PHOTOS, SOME TO SHOW, AND SOME TO SELL. GO TO: lannycottrellphotography.com

HOW TO BECOME A BETTER PHOTOGRAPHER: EPISODE 1 MILLION!

selective focus photography of man with black nikon dslr camera
Photo by Pok Rie on Pexels.com

When it comes to a course that tells you how to become a better photographer, I look at the different ideas that the writer uses. I am guilty of a basic photo course, myself, (see: https://123photogo.com/complete-photo-courses/ ). So when I see another photographer, or another company that does photo courses come out with yet another: “How to become a great photographer”, I will look at it and see if there is any new idea.

NEW IDEAS TO TRY:

Digital Photography School just had another author come up with a course: ” How to become a good photographer, in 12 steps”, I looked it over, and decided to see if there was anything I was missing in my course. The course they use is, of course, just a basic type course that covers briefly some important subjects. There was a couple of ideas with this one, I would like to add my thoughts to:

LOOK AT THE LIGHT!

tree with brunch and green leaves during sunset
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I have a whole chapter on just learning to “SEE THE LIGHT” or Learn about the different types of light. https://123photogo.com/complete-photo-courses/. And i appreciate this author James Maher, taking some time to talk about this. He says:

Instead, when you go to take photos, the first thing you should think about is light, not your camera. Get in the habit of asking yourself a series of questions every time you walk outside:

  • What time of day is it?
  • How strong is the light?
  • Is it sunny or cloudy?
  • What direction is the light coming from?
  • Where are the artificial light sources and what colors do they give off?

Pretty soon, you’ll constantly be aware of the light. You’ll know its quality and its direction. That’s a really good place to be in.

RIGHT ON, AND I TOTALLY AGREE

For more details about light while learning photography, take a look at the course we are offering on this page: https://123photogo.com/complete-photo-courses/

seashore during nighttime
Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

SECOND ITEM THAT IS IMPORTANT:

PHOTOGRAPH CONSTANTLY:

If you want to get good at photography, you have to take a lot of pictures. Take your camera everywhere. Learn to see a photo. The second course I have available with my detailed photos courses is : LEARN HOW TO “SEE” A PHOTO – THEN CREATE YOUR MASTERPIECE. https://123photogo.com/complete-photo-courses/

If you want to be a good photographer, you have to take a lot of photos. Practice, practice, practice is the key. And then take a look at your photos, all of them, and decide what you have to do to improve on them. It is a big key.

red field summer agriculture
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

LEARN MORE BY READING MORE:

Even though there are millions of photography courses all over the internet, it is still something that you can learn from: to see what each photographer will teach you that is their important key. If you learn all those great points from each photographer, you should become a great photographer.

Olympus Camera introduces a Winner

New Olympus OM-1 shocks the world.

I was invited to see Olympus Camera introduce a new Flagship camera, the OM-1 online yesterday, and to those who reviewed the camera with the rest of the world, we did not come out disappointed. A true powerhouse of a camera that says: OLYMPUS IS A CAMERA THAT CAN COMPETE WITH THE BEST!

NEW FEATURES MAKE THIS CAMERA THE LEADER OF THE PACK:

Sony, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, have all come out in the last year with incredible new flagship cameras. Those who want to stay in that race will have to keep introducing cameras that will compete with each other. And this Olympus camera is one camera that fits in with the other “big boys” too.

New Olympus OM-1 shocks the world

NEW FEATURES THAT ARE SO AMAZING:

OM Digital Solutions has announced the Olympus OM-1 – a computational photography focused camera that can shoot bursts at up to 120fps, capture 4K 60p ProRes Raw video, is the world’s first camera to feature Cross Quad Pixel AF and the world’s only system camera to boast IP53 weather sealing.

Now I know Nikon has video that shoots in 8K video and all the other ones shoot 4K, including the Olympus, but, 8K is not something that people are looking for in their home or profession. Besides 8K video will eat up your storage space twice as fast as 4K. My Monitor at home does 4K, and it is amazing. I am sure 8K is even better, but, really, 4K is breathtaking already.

I chose to look at the features that make the Olympus camera and 4 new lenses more amazing than anyone else:

  1. The Computational Photography focused camera that has my interest a lot. At the introduction meeting they were showing how this camera can take pictures of moving objects better than any other camera. That’s thanks to the new stacked sensor combined with the new image processor, which also powers the ferocious autofocus system. Thanks to new AI Detect deep learning AF and the quad pixel sensor, the OM-1 is three times faster and three times better at recognizing and tracking cars, planes, birds, canines and felines.
  2. And to also get an IP53 rating on the weather sealing is beyond amazing, and what’s even more amazing, they introduced, I think at least 3 new lenses that have the same rating. No camera brand has that rating.
Olympus comes up with the highest rating of weatherproof sealing along with at least 3 lenses!

3. The historical disadvantage when it comes to low light performance has also been addressed by the new technology, with OM Digital promising that the new sensor is capable of “35mm equivalent sensor performance”. That’s backed up by an increased ISO range of 200-102,400, along with a claimed 2-stop improvement in noise performance and a 1-stop boost to dynamic range.

4. The Olympus camera now has the fastest motor drive available on any camera. Check this out: The heart of the Olympus OM-1 is a brand new, stacked, backside illuminated, 20.4MP Live MOS sensor. The stacked construction enables ridiculously fast readout speeds, enabling the camera to shoot stills at up to 120fps in single AF, and up to 50fps with continuous AF.

And the camera now has a price point to be a better competition than the other camera manufactures. This comes in at $2199.00 Us Dollars. This camera will be available in early March.

Having owned the original Olympus OM-1, I sense a higher than normal excitement for this camera. I was very impressed with the quality of my original camera, and reading about this camera, it looks like it won’t be a disappointment.

UNDERSTANDING CAMERA SENSOR SIZES

It used to be easy to figure out what format of camera you should buy. Back in the film days, you had 35mm film, and all cameras made cameras that worked with full frame 35mm film. And some people didn’t know this, but most cameras did NOT actually give you the full image of what you saw in the viewfinder. BUT, you could get a full frame photo of the image you saw with the professional version of cameras.

35MM WAS THE STANDARD SIZE OF SENSOR (OR FILM).

I remember working for a camera store, and seeing the specs that said that with certain cameras you got 91% of the actual image. Some cameras bragged about 96%, and then the pro cameras from Nikon, Canon, and Pentax would talk about 100% of the image would go on to the film.

Now we have this digital world, and the camera manufactures have come up with mirrorless cameras that actually do not have close to the full frame sensor at all. And how do they compensate for that? By increasing the sensor sharpness. So, if you have a camera that is from Canon or Nikon, and they produce the APS-C format digital sensor, and they have made their sensors sharper, even up to 60MP, can you get that photo to look as sharp as the full frame cameras. Theoretically yes!

As you can see, the size of cameras can be changed quite a bit by decreasing the size of the sensor. Thus, lens sizes also come down. Olympus and Panasonic are sticking with the “Micro Four Thirds” format. And they are having great success with that format. It is obviously a smaller camera, and both these cameras are extremely well-built. And there are professional photographers using these cameras religiously.

Canon, Nikon, Sony use the larger format APS-C format, and they are producing some incredible cameras.

MIRRORLESS CAMERAS ARE NOW THE BIG THING:

Most camera manufactures now are pushing the “Mirrorless” format camera, which means, when you look through the back viewfinder of the camera, you look at a small screen, similar to the one on the back of the camera. You never look directly at the image, you just look at what it should look like on the viewfinder.

PENTAX STAYS AWAY FROM MIRRORLESS TO GIVE YOU THE ORIGINAL VIEWFINDER.

Pentax cameras are the only manufacture bucking this trend. And I like their thought process. You still get the nice screen on the back of the camera to see what it should look like as you click the shutter release, but, it just seems nice still to look through the back viewfinder of the camera and see the actual image the camera sees, and not a screen shot.

Pentax K-3 camera shown with optional high speed motor drive

Here is another look at the different size sensors and the brands that use them:

There is no digital camera today, that I could find that uses the 35mm format. And I could not even find that Canon makes the APS-H format anymore. Most camera manufactures have opted with the APS-C format.

The smaller the sensor, the harder time you will have getting a great enlargement from it because of it’s size. Notice you can see the size of the sensor with your smartphone. Yes, it may have a high resolution camera now, but, it is still so small. If your phone has a 60Mp sensor, and the APS-C format has the same resolution, you would definitely want to pick the APS-C format.

Now you can have a little more knowledge about how you pick your camera by looking at the size of the sensors.

person holding black dslr camera
Photo by Mohamed Almari on Pexels.com

If you want to be a great photographer, you will want some good photo courses!

https://123photogo.com/complete-photo-courses/