Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tips for Commercial Photography

 Tips For Commercial Photography

With our commercial photography shoots approaching, I decided to post some tips I have found on how to improve photography for advertising. This website lists three tips to help the photographer display the product at its best. First, make sure the product is adequately lighted and not hidden in shadows. Then, make sure the product is photographed in its proper place, a place that makes sense for the product to be used (for example, don't shoot a chainsaw in the living room). Finally, don't be afraid to capture unique angles of the product--this will make a "normal" product look fresh and interesting! Check out the link here:

Another thing to keep in mind when photographing products for advertising is, simply, the product itself! By considering what the product is used for, its key features, and what distinguishes it from competitors, you will get more ideas of what to photograph in order to show off the product and inform potential buyers about it at the same time.

Jewelry Photography

Finally, this site consists of blog entries from Orlando Commercial Photography. These blogs have numerous tips about specific parts of commercial photography, from photographing jewelry to portraits to children. An interesting tip I found, shown in the photos here, is how effective a simple background can be to show off the product; it doesn't need to be complicated! The blog is certainly worth reading!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lifestyle and Commercial Photography

2 zoom in

I decided this week to explore the definitions and differences between lifestyle and commercial photography, since these are the next topics to be discussed in class.

Lifestyle photography captures the little details apparent in everyday life. These photos can capture special memories or simply random events in daily life. This article displays some great examples of lifestyle photography. I especially love the little details that these photos capture! It also includes tips for how to capture those moments, which is especially easy in today's world of seemingly endless storage for digital photos and the exceptional quality photos most cell phones can provide in a compact device.

Commercial PhotographyCommercial photography focuses on displaying a product or service with the intent to sell. I found this article from which asks several different professional photographers to give their definition of commercial photography. I thought it was interesting to see the similarities and differences in each person's response. I especially liked Dave Geffin's answer: "Commercial photographers are employed to create compelling visual images that speak to the target audience of that product." This definition implies that while the end goal is to sell a product, the means to that end still require an artistic approach that inspires others to act.

The final website I looked at went into more detail concerning the different distinctions of commercial photography, including travel, product, fashion, and advertising.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A History and How-to of Time Lapse Photography


This week, I have explored the history of time lapse photography. It began with a horse racing bet in the nineteenth century. Racing aficionados argued whether or not a horse's feet all left the ground simultaneously while galloping. The motion was too fast for anyone to tell with the naked eye, so the first experiment in time lapse photography was conducted from 1872 to 1878. Instead of a single camera that we would use today, a series of cameras were set up along the racetrack connected to trip wires. The horse would hit the trip wires as it ran past, causing the camera to snap the picture. All of the pictures from the various cameras were then combined to create a type of time lapse video of a horse galloping. This video solved the bet of whether or not all of a horse's feet leave the ground simultaneously (they do!), and it also set the foundation for time lapse photography as well as motion picture photography.

Check out the full article along with the 1878 racing video here:

Along with some background information, I found this article which further describes some basics about how to create time lapse videos. It contains tips about how to plan for the number of frames you will need (in other words, how much time you will need) to shoot in order to create a video of a certain length. It also describes how to edit the video and add music or other effects.

Read this article here:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Time Lapse Photography

time lapse photography

This week, I am going to post about time lapse photography. This is done by taking many, often several hundred, pictures of a scene and putting them together in post-processing. The result is an amazing short video that compresses several hours into only a few minutes. I especially liked the time lapse videos of the Northern Lights, since I would love to actually go see them in person some day. Here is the link to a great video on the Northern Lights:

I also found an interesting article explaining to beginners the basics of time lapse photography. It had some helpful tips about how to control flicker, a sharp change of exposure from one frame to another, by shooting in manual mode. It also explained how to control the shutter speed and aperture in order to minimize flicker. The article then gave tips about how to save time in post processing by changing a few camera settings before you shoot, including manually setting the white balance so you don't have to go back through every picture in post processing to make them uniform. Here is a link to the article:

Finally, this next website gave ideas for time lapse photography that go beyond the "traditional" of shooting moving stars or clouds. Creative ideas include shooting moving cars in cities, ice melting, or bike stunts. Check out these pictures! The image of the tree in this blog is one of my favorites from this site:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Experiments with Av Mode

With the recent snowstorm we had in Billings, I decided to go around campus and practice shooting in Aperture Priority (Av) mode using the exposure compensation feature. This is one of the first times that I have shot in Av mode, as I have been shooting in manual mode for years! It was interesting (and occasionally frustrating!) to see how the camera adjusted its shutter speed based on the exposure compensation, aperture, and ISO that I set.

Here are a few of my photos (and my attempts at editing them):

Specs: Av mode, +1 1/3, f/18, 1/15, ISO 400

Specs: Av mode, +2/3, f/4, 0.3, ISO 1600

Specs: Av mode, +1 1/3, f/16, 1/125, ISO 400

Specs: Av mode, +1 1/3, f/18, 1/80, ISO 400

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Detour into Photojournalism

For my blog today, I decided to explore the concept of photojournalism. While learning about landscape and night photography, the recurring theme is that of planning: deciding what exactly you want in the shot, when is the best time to get it, and what equipment you need to obtain the exact amount of focus you desire.

In contrast, photojournalism focuses on capturing the moments you can't plan. These articles I found suggest tips for getting good photojournalism shots, even if the only camera you have in the moment is your iPhone. Equipment is not quite as important here as long as you can anticipate and capture the moment. Photographs for news emphasize emotion, and there are several ways to show that emotion in the way the picture is designed. Composition, different angles, symmetry, and varying points of view on a subject are all important elements used to effectively demonstrate the desired emotion.

The Seven Rules of Dominance

This week, I spent time taking pictures that would display some of the seven rules of dominance. These "rules" suggest that certain elements of a picture will catch the eye more than others, and are useful tools to remember when designing a photograph. The rules of dominance include:
  • red is more attractive than yellow
  • large draws more attention than small
  • difference stands out more than conformity
  • jagged lines are more striking than curved lines
  • diagonal lines draw more attention than vertical lines
  • sharpness gathers more attention than blur
  • light is more attractive than dark
I have posted four photographs I have taken that incorporate these rules of dominance. See if you can find examples of the rules in each!